New York governor Andrew Cuomo wearing a mask
“I don’t understand, why only the Jews?” an Orthodox protest leader asked in a recent interview, talking about NYC's restrictions on large gatherings.

Hundreds have taken to the streets of Brooklyn in protest of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s lockdown of a number of communities to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The nine New York City neighborhoods hit with tighter restrictions all include a sizable Orthodox Jewish population, and the crackdown comes smack-dab in the middle of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Religious Discrimination or Common Sense?

Many Orthodox Jews felt singled out by the measures, which specifically restrict faith gatherings. And neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens with high Orthodox populations were on the receiving end of the restrictions.

The reasoning behind this decision: the areas targeted represent 7% of NYC’s population but 20% of new COVID cases.

"This is about mass gatherings. And one of the prime places of mass gatherings are houses of worship," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "I understand it's a sensitive topic but that is the truth, period."

Governor Cuomo's press conference went as far as to show a slideshow of a number of Orthodox events, including mass gatherings at houses of worship, as proof that the drastic measures are needed.

Naturally, that didn’t go over too well.

Masks Burned as Protests Erupt

Cuomo met with Orthodox leaders in those communities in a bid to gather support and compliance, but that appears to have been all for naught. On October 6th, impromptu protests burst out in New York’s Borough Park neighborhood.

Chants of “Jewish Lives Matter” and “Donald Trump” were heard from protesters, who numbered in the hundreds. Eventually, a bonfire of masks was created in the middle of the street.

Although the protests have been mostly peaceful, one journalist was attacked and called a “moyser”, the Yiddish word for “snitch”, and had his face spit on.

The street protests, which include mask burning, chanting, and even dancing, have gone on for a number of days.

Cuomo, Protesters Play the Blame Game

Gov. Cuomo puts the blame for the lockdown squarely on the communities on the receiving end of them, saying that if they’d been following the rules to begin with, they wouldn’t be targeted for a shutdown. 

“To the extent there are communities that are upset, that’s because they haven’t been following the original rules,” Cuomo said at the original press conference announcing the crackdown. 

Even with the protests in full swing, some are making a concerted effort to abide by social distancing guidelines and set an example, and a number of community members handed out masks each evening.

Still, anger over the lockdown was compounded as it came in the middle of the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot, bringing community frustrations to a boiling point.

In the midst of all this, a controversial former city council candidate named Heshy Tischler has emerged as the de facto protest leader. “I don’t understand, why only the Jews?” he said in a recent interview, pointing to Orthodox sentiment that they’re being targeted unfairly.

He’s gone so far as to suggest that the figures used by Cuomo to inform which neighborhoods to lock down were falsified, calling the tests “not real.” And he’s even expressed mask skepticism, pointing to President Trump’s numerous maskless appearances as proof that he doesn’t need one.

Where do you stand? Was the Jewish community unfairly targeted? Does religious freedom still apply during a pandemic?

57 comments

  1. Tom Thackrey's Avatar Tom Thackrey

    The stupid thing is masks and social distancing are for your own good. Why are you so willing to risk your health, your families health, your neighbors health? Look at how this virus spread through the White House. I get why people don't like being told what to do, but have a little self-interest.

    1. Jean Bakula's Avatar Jean Bakula

      The same will happen in NJ and NY for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We didn't get the Covid numbers low enough because people wouldn't listen. Most of that is Trump's fault for politicizing the pandemic. Our states are getting ready for another lockdown, and we know the holidays will be different. It's for our health and the health of those around us. When did we get so selfish and dumb?

    2. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

      Another mindless Jew hater speaks up, how bout you jump in the lake with your little mask on and go F yourself

      1. Amy Varela's Avatar Amy Varela

        Do you realize that Tom mentioned absolutely nothing about Jews? Maybe stop being ignorant and just wear a mask.

      2. Beth Helene Hurewitz's Avatar Beth Helene Hurewitz

        Daniel G., there is no reason, here on this earth, to be vile in your responses or recommendations. None. Your job is to be an example of right thinking, right relationship. How can you be so when you represent yourself in such a disrespectful light.

        That said, it is difficult to remain sequestered when a religious group such as this is based on community. It's difficult, but necessary at this time.

    3. Amy Varela's Avatar Amy Varela

      A town in Ocean County, NJ has a rapidly growing community of Hassidic Jews. Back in March and April, just after many of these NJ folks went to celebrate spring holidays in NYC, Ocean County had a severe spike in COVID-19 cases. Lakewood was the epicenter of the spike, and the people in this community refused to wear masks, go remote for children in school and refrain from gathering. Now, after the fall holidays, when they were all once again gathering in large numbers, the parks in Lakewood are closed to prevent large groups from gathering. So the people from that community have been going to other parks, over-crowding those parks, preventing the people who live there from using the parks. I do not think it's religious discrimination. The only reason it looks that way is that they are the only ones refusing to follow the recommendations/rules/laws for the health and safety of other people.

      Nobody has the right to put others at risk. Why should they be allowed to?

  1. The Rev. William C, Millhouse's Avatar The Rev. William C, Millhouse

    I am sick and tired of careless, selfish, self important people on their attention seeking stuff. The restrictions are only temporary and for your own good. Since when is it a problem to pray on your own. The Divine will hear you just the same.

    1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

      Everybody who doesn't know anything suddenly knows whats for our own good. Your a moron

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN I would like to pay for you to come to California give a sermon about how useless masks are to the families of the 25 people who recently died of covid and the 130 others who are now infected and might die. When you book your travel, just make it one way as I'm sure after you preach you won't be returning home. We need more non-masking wearing people like you spending time with people who have covid to make the world a safer place.

    1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

      Liar, and another brainless fool

      1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        “Liar, and another brainless fool” can only be the words of an uneducated Christian bigot.

  1. Dawn's Avatar Dawn

    Cuomo has not singled out the Jewish community. If anyone watched his press conference, he indicated that he didn't care what the religion - even his own Roman Catholic- he would shut them down if they were not complying with distancing and capacity rules during COVID. I live in NYS and I avoid NYC because it is a petri dish of disease! Downstate NY has, from the beginning, been not just the epicenter of COVID but continues to have the highest percentage of positive COVID tests. And what did this people do? Burn masks. Well, just lovely. Recall if you will that the measles outbreak relatively recently occurred within the downstate NY Hasidic Jewish community because they do not get vaccinated - at all. Their community has spit in the faces of ANY authority and they have hidden behind their religion for decades. The US is supposed to allow you to practice your religion - not sicken those around you because of it. This is a non-issue.

    1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

      The non-issue here is that your an Anti-Semite. The other issue here is you dont have a clue whats good for America, try worrying about yourself. 97% of the population will not get or have Covid. Only a moron would worried about it, only an ignorant fool would spew their hate upon another.

      1. brian ham's Avatar brian ham

        not your you're

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    A friend of mine passed away last week. His own wife and two teenage children couldn't visit him during his two weeks in hospital, couldn't be at his side when he died because of Covid restrictions.

    Cause of death - complications from Covid-19, a disease caused by a microscopic virus that, had the Chinese government taken immediate action to slow or even stop the spread, in just one city at the outset, would not have traveled around the world to become a pandemic in just a few short months. I'm not China-bashing, just stating the facts - by all reports, Chinese and other nationalities, the virus started in Wuhan and when first reported the government's only action for months was to stifle the news. My friend, and more than a million friends of other people, would still be alive if people knew about it, believed it, and the government(s) led the way towards its eradication by law and by example.

    A pandemic is hard on all people, but what I find repugnant are the individuals and groups who grasp for any excuse to put others in jeopardy. Come on - you believe in something you can't see (a god, national pride, skin-color supremacy, etc.) and has no scientific evidence for its existence, but refuse to believe scientifically gathered facts that a virus could wipe out humanity?

    It hasn't slowed down, folks. It's picking up speed.

  1. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

    The ISRAELI GOVERNMENT itself made a COMPLETE SHUTDOWN OF THE COUNTRY on the HIGH HOLY DAYS. Because that was necessary to preserve the lives of people. They CLOSED all the TEMPLES, the WAILING WALL, Every Single Religious Center. Are THEY anti-Semitic? I don't think so. They were desperate to SAVE LIVES. The religious and the foolish ought not be the same people.

    1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

      Your a Liar and a Troll

  1. Sean Richings's Avatar Sean Richings

    Sometimes a balanced view is needed from the people who are trying to actualy save lives.

    Dr Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, University of Southampton, said:

    “The Barrington Declaration is based upon a false premise – that governments and the scientific community wish for extensive lockdowns to continue until a vaccine is available. Lockdowns are only ever used when transmission is high, and now that we have some knowledge about how best to handle new outbreaks, most national and subnational interventions are much ‘lighter’ than the full suppressions we have seen for example in the UK across the spring of 2020.

    “Those behind the Barrington Declaration are advocates of herd immunity within a population. They state that “Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal”, with the idea being that somehow the vulnerable of society will be protected from ensuing transmission of a dangerous virus. It is a very bad idea. We saw that even with intensive lockdowns in place, there was a huge excess death toll, with the elderly bearing the brunt of that, and 20-30% of the UK population would be classed as vulnerable to a severe COVID-19 infection. Around 8% of the UK population has some level of immunity to this novel coronavirus, and that immunity will likely wane over time and be insufficient to prevent a second infection. A strategy for herd immunity would also promote further inequalities across society, for example across the Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The declaration also ignores the emerging burdens of ‘long COVID’. We know that many people, even younger populations who suffered from an initially mild illness, are suffering from longer-term consequences of a COVID-19 infection.

    “Independent SAGE are among the many scientists who have eloquently pointed out1 the many reasons why these initiatives are ultimately harmful and misleading as to the scientific evidence base. There are countries who are managing the pandemic relatively well, including South Korea and New Zealand, and their strategies do not include simply letting the virus run wild whilst hoping that the asthmatic community and the elderly can find somewhere to hide for 12 months. They have a proactive approach to ‘test and trace’ to reduce the impact of new outbreaks, and good public health messaging from the government to their populations. Ultimately, the Barrington Declaration is based on principles that are dangerous to national and global public health.

    1 Independent SAGE report – https://www.independentsage.org/a-deliberate-population-immunity-strategy-before-a-vaccine-why-it-wouldnt-work-and-why-it-shouldnt-be-tried/

  1. Kcoyle's Avatar Kcoyle

    I'm a Reform Jew. Cuomo's reactions are not anit-semitic.

    My synagogue has not yet reopened for in-person services, and we won't reopen until there's a vaccine. Although it's a mitzvah (Jewish commandment) to celebrate and gather together, that mitzvah is overriden by the commandment to preserve human life, even if it means you have to violate other commandments to do it.

    There are various sects of Orthodox Jewry, and I'm not educated enough to speak about those variations. Those Orthodox Jews who are refusing to wear masks and refusing to socially distance are the same ones who refuse to have their children vaccinated. They are putting others at risk as well as themselves.

    When religious and cultural behavior threatens the welfare of others, then the government needs to do something about it. Extremists in any faith or ethnic group scare me because they deny science and fact.

    And how dare they chant "Jewish Lives Matter"? Yes, they do matter, but police are not killing Jews they way African Americans have been murdered in police custody.

  1. Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN's Avatar Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN

    I don't have to look at all of the videos. I already know that this is athema to them. It's like putting a Yamaha on a Shi'ite ?unlimited. It doesn't belong. I have fought against this since Cuomo passed that stupid drop kick lW that masks ard the law. Ever go to eat put with one? Stupid! 6 ft. Dustancing is for recognition purposes only. There is no medical reason for it. Masks are useless unless yo have Covid, in which case, you should be home or i. The hkspital Masks are proven not yo work. Vloth masks 0 protection from you spreading it and 80%+ of getting it. Masks worn for mefical procedures in md offices 15-20 mins. Tops. Thst only protects the patient from your germs nog theirs. I-95 MASKS. GIVE YOU 8 HRS. AGAIN THICJER, BUT ALL OF THESE MASKS WETE DEDIGNED FOR keeping your germs from someone else. It's not reverse protection. The statistics of getting covid are very low, dying even lower. I am an RN. I use these things under protest. I have breathing issues. Putting a mask on has caused me to neay black-out if I have to exert myself plus aortic stenosis. I had to go 4 times for my driver's license, each time they needed extra documentation. When I protested the use of a madk because I am a mouth breather and had my nose out, they said thst if I passed out, tbry would call 911. Why,? Have people In power gone this wonky that they would rather call 911 to give me o then and get a possible HEART ATTACK just because they want to make a case out of enforcing a very bad law?

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Would putting a shi'ite on a Yamaha be more to your liking?

      We understand you concerns, Laurie - that you are a selfish person who, bottom line, wants to be responsible for killing someone else. Perhaps getting off the wacky weed long enough to type coherent sentences with proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling would permit you to think more clearly and see what a terrible terrible person you really are.

      1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

        Yes and a Yamaha? Isn't that a scooter or motorcycle?

      2. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

        Here's the bottom line chief...You are stupid enough to believe a lie. 97 % of the pop. will not get and will never have Covid, that's a real number. So before you start lecturing everyone on their friggin grammar know what your talking about......Funny how as of today documented Flu cases are down 95% !!!!! Take your blinders off and spare us your ignorance.

        1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

          Dan, my boy, you, too, need to get off the whacky weed. But love your obfuscation - influenza is just another way ya'll try to divert attention from the issue. Great propaganda tactic, but doesn't mean squat. Same with your fake statistics about percentages - nothing to do with the issue of mask wearing as a method of reducing transmission.

          Good thing there are no laws against stupidity. If there were you and your ilk would fill the prisons.

          🤣

    2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

      I am sincerely trying to understand your points, but..it sounds like you are on a rant and not making much sense. Try again?

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    I would like to know how it would have been taken if Cuomo had targeted adherents to the Islamic faith instead?

    🦁❤️

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Sorry but the Gov's of the state have no ability to make a law or claim to have same. Every state constitution is based on the US Constitution and as such the ONLY people who can make a law are the state assemblies. Just take a look at what the Democrat run State Supreme Court of Michigan just ruled...they slapped that Gov Whitmer does not and never has had the ability to do what she has done. In Ohio they have already filed impeachment charges against Gov DeWine for doing the same thing and in Indiana they are threatening the Gov there with being charged for violating the State Constitution. The mayor of NYC deBlasio has already been warned that if he tries to close Jewish temples, that he will be charged with violations of the US Supreme Court decisions of the bakers decision and the Little Sisters of the Poor decision.

    These idiots need to understand that they are members of the EXECUTIVE branch and only the LEGISLATIVE branch has the constitutional authority to make a law. They either know this or they will find out the hard way

    1. Rev. Dennis's Avatar Rev. Dennis

      The governors are not making "laws". They are making emergency mandates which their office or the office of the state health department has the authority to do based on the constitutions in each state. The mandates are temporary for a specific number of days.

      That being said, since I am tired of having this discussion about how inconsiderate and uncaring the whiners of the world are, I say let them get Covid, let their families get Covid. Open everything, decrease the population through death from the disease. Let those who survive suffer with all of the lasting side effects from having it as they won't listen anyway. People are impatient, rude and arrogant to each other, let them suffer.

      When an emergency occurs weather it is a health or weather emergency I say let the governments stand down. Let the people figure it out for themselves as they know best.

      (spoken in heavily sarcastic voice)

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        replying in a heavily exasperated voice - You dont know much do you? All you need do is look at Gretchen Whitmer, a woman who is CHARGING people for supposedly violating her mandates (laws according to her) and who was just slapped upside the head so hard her great grandchildren x 10 generations, are going to be complaining about the hand sized birth mark on their faces. Seems the Michigan State Supreme Court just shot down everything she was claiming she could do. And you have a Gov in NJ who is saying he has the right to do this as its law. You have Cuomo claiming that his dictates are LAW. You have the idiot gov of California stating that he has the right to BAN ALL combustion powered machines in California (and that will last till he is sued) and that is just some of the fools who think that their word is law. And then you have the State Departments of Health who seemingly think the same thing, that their mandates are law as well. So you have a lot of people on both sides of the fence who are too ignorant to understand that unless they are part of the Congress or the state assemblies, NOTHING they say can be considered a law or an enforceable action where you can be arrested or lose your business license because you refuse to follow it. That is my whole point

      2. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

        Another Blind Anti-Semite speaks up wishing death to people of all creeds and color. Good one !

  1. Christian's Avatar Christian

    The Stazi Gestapo Communist Authoritarian Tactics are fully unconstitutional. ALL power loaned to public servants is at the will of the people. NO government action can block, shutdown, or restrict Synagogues, Churches, Mosques, Temples, Prayer Groves, etc.

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      Ofcourse they can, check the laws outlined for public health and safety in times of crisis. Just as Drumpf wanted to use a BS state of emergency to force all kinds of BS through against the will of the masses he is bound to serve, A state Gov has the power do during a state of emergency do really whatever they need to keep the people safe and threat contained.

      You do know for example old churches etc get shut down by city gov all the time due to things like being condemned or declared unfit for human habitation due to black mold etc right?

      1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

        Another Anti-Semite, Trump hater speaks out. Your brainless....Thanks for the warning !

        1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          Not anti semitic in the least. Anti archaic traditions like those they spout about being the chosen people and other such nonsense, yep.

          As for hating Drumpf, naw I just find him a complete waste of a life, that would of better served the world by being still born.

          Considering his family is legit SS stock, I find it hilarious any jew supports him. Its like helping to build the death camp before being sent there the fools.

          Drumpfs, SS supporters since Hitler.

    2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

      Religious freedom protects people’s right to live, speak, and act according to their beliefs peacefully and publicly. It protects their ability to be themselves at work, in class, and at social activities.

      Ok, that sounds good, but does such “freedom” allow people to do whatever they want under the cover of religion?

      Well, that answer is no. The Supreme Court has said the federal government may limit religious freedom – but only when it has a “compelling interest” to do so in order to protect the common good and limit people’s ability to harm others.

      1. John Camp Bernay III's Avatar John Camp Bernay III

        "...for the common defense..." makes it perfectly constitutional and holds more authority than any of the amendments or all of them combined. Bares Repeating.

    3. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Not so much, Christian. The Constitution states one of its primary purposes is to "...provide for the common defense..." and takes precedence over any of the amendments. Requiring Jews to wear masks, in this instance, is one of the few defenses against a killing virus, and, since State and Local powers derive from the Constitution, such requirements are constitutional.

      So, jewish lives don't matter when jewish actions put other's lives at risk.

  1. Christian's Avatar Christian

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. - FIRST AMENDMENT.

    The mask mandates are all illegal :
    My Body, My Choice.

    IF mask fines of $1,000 are legal, then by the same logic, abortion clinics should be fined $1,000 per abortion, for putting the babies ' lives at risk.

    Nearly 100% of abortions are fatal, so the STATE is due multiple $1,000 payments, millions $$$$$$$$$ due.

    It is ironic that COVID-19 China Virus Mask fines and restrictions will ultimately overturn the ROW vs WADE case.

    1. Paul J. Fumero's Avatar Paul J. Fumero

      No you fool. If your actions would not affect others, then your argument takes hold BUT masks and social distancing are all we have in a deadly highly infectious pandemic. I would add to the $1000 fine 6 months hard labor in jail. Some christians are so stupid. Jesus in not stupid, he is extremely practical and would disapprove of such idiocy.

    2. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Bzzzzzt! Wrong answer, Christian, but thanks for playing!

      "...for the common defense..." makes it perfectly constitutional and holds more authority than any of the amendments or all of them combined.

    3. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      No matter how often you say it, dude, you'll be wrong. Oh, say it enough times and some dimwit might believe it, but that doesn't count for much.

      And how do abortions put babies' lives at risk? Babies can't even get pregnant, so have no need for abortions.

    4. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      Sure just as soon as donating blood, and any organ you dont need to live can be taken from you if another is in need, and as long as those who claim to be good christians all surrender their firearms and reaffirm vows of complete and total non violence even in the face of rape and murder.

    5. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

      Well said. Christian....You tell these fools

  1. Alan S Corr's Avatar Alan S Corr

    It really isn’t about mass gatherings , if that was true the mayor’s and the governor’s would have stopped the so called peace full protests -riots in all states were that happened. They did nothing ! It seems the Jewish community was targeted before I believe it’s about attending service at synagogue. Keeping churches closed seems to be a goal of several states . Pastor John MacArthur grace church , San Francisco snd the state have been trying to shut him down . The city of San Francisco and I believe the state of California have taken grace church to court continuously. My question is Why can a governor say or a mayor it’s the peoples constitutional right to protest peacefully i use peacefully loosely . While some states are actively trying to keep churches closed ? attending church and practicing your religion is your constitutional right and the government cannot interfere with that just as they cannot Interfere with a protest and they didn’t

  1. Paul J. Fumero's Avatar Paul J. Fumero

    Why should the Jews be any different than anyone else? If there is rampant COVID infections in their community then they need to control it better. Besides jews have festivals, feasts and holidays for every day of the year. It would be the same if a year was 10,000 days.

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Jews have 7 holidays in 2020. Some last 7 days, but most last but 2. Total days of Jewish holidays this year is 30 - a fare cry from "every day".

  1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

    The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request from a church in Nevada to block enforcement of state restrictions on attendance at religious services.

    The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members to form a majority.

    The court’s brief order was unsigned and gave no reasons, which is typical when the justices act on emergency applications. The court’s four more conservative members filed three dissents, totaling 24 pages.

    Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley in Dayton, Nev., argued that the state treated houses of worship less favorably than it did casinos, restaurants and amusement parks. Those businesses have been limited to 50 percent of their fire-code capacities, while houses of worship have been subject to a flat 50-person limit.

    Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in a dissent joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett M. Kavanaugh, wrote that the distinction made no sense.

    “The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion,” he wrote. “It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine or to engage in any other game of chance. But the governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities.”

    “A public health emergency does not give governors and other public officials carte blanche to disregard the Constitution for as long as the medical problem persists,” Justice Alito wrote.

    The court considered a similar objection from a California church in May, and it rejected it by the same 5-to-4 vote.

    Judge Richard F. Boulware II, of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, rejected the church’s challenge, noting that the state had imposed similar or more stringent restrictions on concerts, sporting events and musical performances.

    “Whether a church is more like a casino or more like a concert or lecture hall for purposes of assessing risk of Covid-19 transmission is precisely the sort of ‘dynamic and fact-intensive’ decision-making ‘subject to reasonable disagreement’ that the court should refrain from engaging in,” Judge Boulware wrote, quoting from a concurring opinion issued by Chief Justice Roberts in May in the case concerning the California church.

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, also cited the Supreme Court’s order in the California case in denying the Nevada church’s request for an injunction while its appeal moved forward.

    In his concurring opinion in the California case, Chief Justice Roberts said state officials must have flexibility to make judgments about public health.

    “Although California’s guidelines place restrictions on places of worship, those restrictions appear consistent with the free exercise clause of the First Amendment,” he wrote at the time.

    “Similar or more severe restrictions apply to comparable secular gatherings, including lectures, concerts, movie showings, spectator sports and theatrical performances, where large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time,” the chief justice wrote. “And the order exempts or treats more leniently only dissimilar activities, such as operating grocery stores, banks and laundromats, in which people neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods.”

    Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh noted dissents in the California case.

    “The church and its congregants simply want to be treated equally to comparable secular businesses,” Justice Kavanaugh wrote in a dissenting opinion joined by Justices Thomas and Gorsuch. “California already trusts its residents and any number of businesses to adhere to proper social distancing and hygiene practices.”

  1. Christian's Avatar Christian

    It is not about 'mass gatherings', it is about FREE WILL. Freedom is essential. Liberty is our pre-existing, Natural god given Human Right.

    You want to gather:
    Gather At Your Own Risk.

    You want to stay home, stay home! :-)

    WE THE PEOPLE, RULE. Not godless communist thugs...

    All Religions and All Citizens RIGHT to gather peacefully is protected by the Constitutional and by the First Amendment :

    FREEDOM of BELIEF is the very FIRST priority of our Blessed Bill of Rights :

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    Congress shall make no law prohibiting the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

    No masks, if you do not want to wear one, this is your 1st amendment, 4th amendment, and 14th amendment pre-existing natural god given Human right.

    To the Faithful, it is best to honor God, and follow the Bill of Rights.

    All Police State Lock Down House Arrest Hostage Talking mandates are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    "Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion."

    1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

      Dude, it has nothing to do with religion. You, and anyone else this stupid, does not have the right to endanger anyone else's life.

      "...provide for the common defense..." takes precedence over any/all amendments.

      You're just plain wrong

    2. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

      Thanks for the voice of reason, liberty, life and God.

  1. John Jerome Louis Bryant's Avatar John Jerome Louis Bryant

    Sure. Then IF you go to a mass gathering, you should submit to the local health and law enforcement authorities that you have done so and then isolate for 14 calendar days. On pain of incarcertation if you don't. Wait... don't like that?

    The restriction is because you put OTHERS AT RISK! Your view is only for the individuals attending. They then go out into the community and infect people who did NOT attend. Plenty of people have very little choice but to be out in the world. The jobs or lives require it. THAT is why mass gatherings are prohibited.

    You have it backwards. If you want to deny the science and engage in risky behavior, "STAY HOME!" Let the rest of us practice safe habits in peace without the unnecessary risk of dealing with COVIDIOTS.

    All Police State Lock Down House Arrest Hostage Talking mandates are CONSTITUTIONAL. (Fixed that for you)

    Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion."

    Your understanding is simplistic. You need to look at 200 years of SCOTUS rulings to determine that no right is absolute. FREEDOM of BELIEF is the very FIRST priority of our Blessed Bill of Rights :

    Sorry, Jefferson, who wrote the Bill of Rights was an avowed Deist. Nothing about the Constitution is Blessed. He was a Christian deist because he saw Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion and Jesus as an incomparably great moral teacher. He was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God. Jefferson's religion is fairly typical of the American form of deism in his day.

    Frisby v. Schultz would apply. (Not forcing speech on an unwilling listener) Their "speech or religion" thus exposes another to danger. Let's look at the SCOTUS reasoning the Lemon test. The Court has therefore tried to determine a way to deal with church/state questions. In Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971), the Court created a three-part test for laws dealing with religious establishment. This determined that a law was constitutional if it:

    Had a secular purpose Neither advanced nor inhibited religion Did not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion.

    People may argue your religion is inhibited. It is NOT. You may still practice any faith you wish. Your are temporarily restricted from doing so in large gatherings.

    1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

      Another Anti-Semite who cares so much about his fellow human being that he will use dumb logic to justify wearing masks. Masks do Nothing, quarantine does more harm than good, 97 % of the pop. will never get or doesn't have Covid.....Stop listening to ABC nightly news for your great info, your ignorant.

  1. Daniel Ginther's Avatar Daniel Ginther

    BREAKING NEWS: The world renowned experts in their fields, after a 4 day conference regarding COVID-19, declare that WE SHOULD ALL GO BACK TO LIVING NORMALLY, PRACTICING SIMPLE HYGIENE & STAYING HOME WHEN SICK (NO FACE MASKS OR SOCIAL DISTANCING) and only protect the most vulnerable populations with more protective measures! “From October 1-4, 2020, the American Institute for Economic Research had a remarkable meeting of top epidemiologists, economists, and journalists, to discuss the global emergency created by the unprecedented use of state compulsion in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. The result is The Great Barrington Declaration, which urges a “Focused Protection” strategy.”

    Here it is, case closed, stop the stupid madness !

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      To quote your orange cult leader. "FAKE NEWS!"

  1. brian ham's Avatar brian ham

    I'm sorry bt americans are idiots

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    The Darwin effect will come into play. If and when they get the COVID-19 plague they can spread it among themselves. The weak will die off and the strong will live. These communities have seen what measles can do yet refuse to get vaccinated against it. Guess if a new form of Small Pox pop upon the world these same groups would put their faith in God to protect them. Even if it kills most of the group. As seen in the past the strong will live and the weak will die. In this case death will be welcome since this plagues starts with the lungs being infected and then attacks the heart then the other organs. It can be a 24 hour pain before death. The worst is days of unbearable pain before the body dies.

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    Try listening to the podcast TWiV. Hear the people in the know talk about what they know and not anyone else who have thories that are worthless.

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