COVID-19 has spread far and wide and impacted so many parts of our lives. Limiting in person religious services has become a breaking point for many. The First Amendment to the US Constitution clearly states: 1) the United States Constitution prevents the government from making laws which regulate the establishment of religion, or that would prohibit the free exercise of religion.
Some people believe that the line is absolute: no crossing it. We know that through the years various Supreme Court decisions recognize that this is not an absolute. In the Democratic Club today we look at this not as a legal or constitutional issue but as a practical one through the eyes of a member of the clergy. Our speaker today is United Methodist Church Bishop Elaine Stanovsky. Bishop Stanovsky wrote an opinion article in the Spokesman-Review on Dec. 22nd, entitled “An Advent Message of Love: Calling all people of faith not to gather during the pandemic.” This was not what I expected to read when I saw the article. Asking the question her reply was, “My answer is simply, NO. Christians and Christian Churches should not gather during this pandemic – even though the U.S. Supreme Court essentially just gave churches the green light to do so.”
This certainly was not what I expected particularly in this Northwest area of our country. The claim of freedom denied seems to echo largest here in the Pacific Northwest. If you are unable to join us at the Democratic Club this Friday at least take a few minutes and read what Bishop Stanovsky has to say.
Try to join, Friday, Jan. 29th, Noon, Online, for a different message from what we hear most frequently. The link to join will be sent to all this Thursday, 1/28/21.