Anyone who attends a large, in-person Easter service over the weekend in Kentucky will be forced to quarantine for 14 days, according to a new executive order from Gov. Andy Beshear.
In a statement made on Good Friday, the Democratic governor said that the Kentucky State Police will record the license plate numbers of vehicles seen at in-person gatherings and local health officials will contact the owners and require them to self-quarantine for 14 days.
“This is the only way we can ensure that your decision doesn’t kill someone else,” he said.
Officials reportedly know of only six churches in the commonwealth planning to hold in-person Easter services. The order does not affect attendees at drive-up services.
“This is a time and weekend, a whole week for multiple faiths, that is about faith. It’s about knowing we have faced as people — as Christians, as Jews, as members of many faiths — many difficult, dark times, and we have prevailed,” Beshear said.
“We know that the weeks or the months ahead will be difficult. We know that there are going to be tougher days before there are easier days. But we also know because we have faith that we are going to get through this and we are going to get through it together. We are going to pass this test of humanity.”
“Even on weekends like this, we cannot have in-person gatherings of any type,” Beshear said.
As of Friday evening, there are at least 1,693 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, according to the governor’s statement.
Beshear’s order received criticism from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
“Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday?” Paul tweeted. “Someone needs to take a step back here.”
Taking license plates at church? Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday? Someone needs to take a step back here.
Kentucky Governor Announces Plan to Record License Plates of Easter Church Goers and Force Them to Quarantine for 14 Days https://t.co/z7U42liQRh
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 11, 2020
Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie tweeted the same article as Paul with the comment, “What the actual hell?”
“The same week Jews celebrate freedom from bondage and Christians celebrate freedom from death, Governor Beshear is going to be in your church parking lot scanning your license plate,” he tweeted.
The same week Jews celebrate freedom from bondage and Christians celebrate freedom from death, Governor Beshear is going to be in your church parking lot scanning your license plate.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) April 11, 2020
Church leaders and congregations across the country have faced similar persecution from local governments.
Members of the Temple Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, were even issued $500 tickets for attending a drive-up service in the church parking lot where people remained inside their cars with the windows rolled up.
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