We've been seeing far too much tyranny in the state and local governments with law enforcement trying to prevent churches from holding services.
Some have even fined churchgoers for sitting in their cars in the church parking lot with their windows up listening to their pastor on the radio.
Attorney General William Barr said that this isn't going to fly and is a violation of the Constitution.
“But even in times of emergency, when reasonable and temporary restrictions are placed on rights, the First Amendment and federal statutory law prohibit discrimination against religious institutions and religious believers. Thus, the government may not impose special restrictions on religious activity that do not also apply to the similar nonreligious activity. For example, if a government allows movie theaters, restaurants, concert halls, and other comparable places of assembly to remain open and unrestricted, it may not order houses of worship to close, limit their congregation size, or otherwise impede religious gatherings. Religious institutions must not be singled out for special burdens.”
“Today, the Department filed a Statement of Interest in support of a church in Mississippi that allegedly sought to hold parking lot worship services, in which congregants listened to their pastor preach over their car radios, while sitting in their cars in the church parking lot with their windows rolled up. The City of Greenville fined congregants $500 per person for attending these parking lot services – while permitting citizens to attend nearby drive-in restaurants, even with their windows open. The City appears to have thereby singled churches out as the only essential service (as designated by the state of Mississippi) that may not operate despite following all CDC and state recommendations regarding social distancing.”
“The United States Department of Justice will continue to ensure that religious freedom remains protected if any state or local government, in their response to COVID-19, singles out, targets, or discriminates against any house of worship for special restrictions.”