In Nevada it’s okay to have a large group inside a casino, but it’s not permissible to have a large crowd inside a church. I predicted the left would declare war on Christians in my book, “Culture Jihad.” Click here to get a copy.
A church near Reno recently appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court this week to step in and allow it to hold services with the same attendance requirements that restaurants and casinos were given amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Free Exercise Clause protects the exercise of religion,” the church wrote in the injunction, according to the Associated Press. The report said that lawyers for Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley said Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order to allow other venues to open at 50 percent capacity “simply turns the First Amendment on its head.”
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Jeremiah Galus, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, told KTVN that it is unfair that places of worship in the state are being singled out. Calvary Chapel has taken all required precautions to help assure the health of its congregants, lawyers said.
Churches have been locking horns with state officials over coronavirus requirements. The New York Times reported that more than 650 coronavirus cases have been linked to 40 churches and “religious events” in the country.
The Nevada church was denied a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction last month by a district court and then the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit earlier this month. Lawyers filed a preliminary-injunction appeal but noted that the by time there is a ruling “the legal landscape may have changed but the irreparable harm to the church’s First Amendment rights will be irreversible.”
Lawyers wrote the letter requesting the injunction to Justice Elena Kagan.
“Calvary Chapel only seeks to host about 90 people at a socially-distanced church service, while the Governor allows hundreds to thousands of people to gamble and enjoy entertainment at casinos,” court papers read.
The church’s sanctuary can hold 200 people, the AP reported.
The lawyers point out that, under the state’s order, these other venues simply have to maintain 50 percent the full capacity while places of worship were given a specific number “no matter their facilities’ size or the precautions they take.”
“The church asks for no special favors,” its lawyers wrote last month. “It just desires to hold gatherings at 50% capacity with social distancing and safety precautions the same as many businesses where large groups gather in close proximity for extended periods of time.”