Good news for strip clubs does not normally lead to a ray of hope for churches.
But in the era of COVID-19, a court ruling over the right to bump and grind has created some hope that the right to kneel and pray in church can be revived in California.
California’s churches have been largely shuttered for months by emergency orders issued by the state, even as restraints have been relaxed on other types of gatherings.
Paul Jonna, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, said there might be some hope for churches because of a San Diego Superior Court ruling on behalf of two strip clubs, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil granted two clubs a temporary injunction to stop “any government entity or law enforcement officer from enforcing the provisions of the cease-and-desist orders” filed against the clubs, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The judge said that the two establishments put extensive measures in place to prevent the coronavirus from spreading at the clubs.
The clubs sued in October, claiming the San Diego County never singled out strip clubs to be treated differently from other forms of entertainment, noting that restaurants and other venues were able to offer “considerable live entertainment.”
The clubs said the order violated their constitutional rights of due process and equal protection under the law.
“If strip clubs are entitled to constitutional protections, then churches are as well,” Jonna told the Free Beacon.
“If you’re going to accept that argument that dancing nude is protected speech that’s so significant that it overcomes the government’s interest in regulating its citizens with COVID-19 orders, then obviously the divine worship of God, which is expressly mentioned in the First Amendment, should be held to a higher standard.”
Many on Twitter said the time has come to reopen churches.
If you are religious, leave the state of California. Strip clubs are being allowed to open but not Synagogues and Churches. The state is clearly against your right to practice your religion. COVID19 was an opportunity to suppress your rights.
— Brian Bailie Jr. (@BrianBailieJr) November 13, 2020
CA Judge Orders San Diego to Open Strip Clubs Based on First Amendment, But Churches Still Closed https://t.co/BLOFmGP6se
— KayC (@mrscog58) November 14, 2020
Sooo, prostitution and stripping are okay yet going to church is still banned. For all you so-called “Christians” who voted for the Biden and the Democrats, do you seriously still not understand the difference between good and evil?https://t.co/nWUJs9My2P
— Peter Shinn (@prolifeunity) November 14, 2020
Free speech? California Set to Reopen Strip Clubs Before Churches https://t.co/1YkNnBN6aL
— Craig Ogilvie (@FirstMirazh) November 13, 2020
Jonna said the strip club decision highlights “the absurdity” and double standard that have been hallmarks of California’s lockdown.
“A judge who understands the Constitution will recognize the absurdity of the current state of the law,” he said. “I think it’s a good sign that judges are starting to question whether the government has a legitimate interest in regulating any business or industry at this point.”
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