On Friday, President Trump called on governors to allow churches to meet, deeming their services “essential” and threatening to override governors’ orders if they did not comply. California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that churches could resume meeting within the week under strict state guidelines. Over 1,200 churches in California had banned together to create pressure on Gov. Newsom, announcing their plan to meet whether or not the governor “allowed” them to do so.
A pastor of one of the largest African-American churches in Philadelphia announced to his congregation that Trump’s speech was “political pandering to the Right, extreme right-wing, to make a point for their votes.” The president for Interfaith Alliance condemned Trump’s orders as well, claiming that “the illness and death that afflicts religious communities who follow the president’s dictates will be his responsibility.” They said they are following science and health authorities and will wait until it is deemed safe to open. Mayor of Chicago Lori Lightfoot said that the president has no authority to order “any state to do something that he doesn’t have the power to do.”
“We applaud the president’s strong stance today demanding that these attacks must stop and that churches and houses of worship be freed to safely open. Americans are going to malls and restaurants. They need to be able to go to their houses of worship,” stated President of the First Legal Institute. Two pastors in New Jersey reminded “congregants that men and women died to give Americans their freedom. And that freedom, they said, included the right to assemble and practice religion inside their church.” Their church, Solid Rock, required mask use, checked each person’s temperature at the door, and had social distancing measures in place. Defending against the claim that “they don’t care about people” by reopening, many have pointed to the health factors besides the virus – anxiety, depression, and loneliness – ravaging many American