Report: Chicago Mayor sent Police to Tow Cars, Block Church Parking Lot

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot dispatched police officers to shut down parking lots and tow the cars of Christians attending Sunday services at a Romanian church, a religious liberty law firm alleges.

Liberty Counsel tells The Todd Starnes Radio Show that the mayor posted “no parking” notices around the neighborhood and around the church and “sent the police out to tow cars of residents.”

“The church has leased the parking lot of a bank across the street for 18 years,” Liberty Counsel said. “Mayor Lightfoot had the police block the lot so churchgoers couldn’t park there.”

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Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries held services Sunday in defiance of state emergency orders banning large gatherings. The churches filed a federal lawsuit last week against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for what they called an unconstitutional executive order against churches.

“Governor Pritzker clearly does not seem to know that churches have the First Amendment right to exist, but businesses do not,” Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said. “In the land of the free, these Romanian pastors and church members should never have to fear arrest or sanction for attending worship services in church as they once experience in a Communist country.”

A federal judge rejected an emergency order filed on behalf of the churches seeking to hold in-person worship services in spite of a ban implemented by Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman, nominated to the the bench by former President Clinton, accused the churches of being selfish.

“Plaintiffs’ request for an injunction, and their blatant refusal to follow the mandates of the Order are both ill-founded and selfish,” the judge wrote in a scathing order. “An injunction would risk the lives of plaintiffs’ congregants, as well as the lives of their family members, friends, co-workers and other members of their communities with whom they come in contact. Their interest in communal services cannot and does not outweigh the health and safety of the public.”

Staver took issue with the judge’s harsh rebuke.

“The right enshrined in the First Amendment for the free exercise of religion is not a right that can be trashed with such an insult. These pastors and churchgoers value freedom, while this order and the restrictions on churches do not,” he said.

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