Governors across the country are heeding the advice of public health officials and implementing limitations on large gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, some states are exempting churches from these policies, endangering their communities in the process.
Please ask your governor to ensure that in the interest of protecting public health, churches and religious gatherings are included in the curbs on big congregations. FFRF has sent a letter to all 50 governors urging just this.
Some churches have argued that they have a constitutional right to hold large in-person worship services despite the pandemic, but they are wrong. The rights the First Amendment guarantees, such as free assembly and the free exercise of religion, are limited. In fact, the government already regularly limits worship gatherings if they jeopardize public health. Preventing large gatherings due to a pandemic is even more crucial.
Churches that hold services right now are demonstrating a complete lack of respect for widespread efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and for the lives of community members, not just worshippers. Like the rest of us, religious communities all over the world are adapting to social distancing rules by worshipping alone, in small groups or in large online communities. Now is no time for favoritism toward churches.
Please take a few moments to ask your governor to treat churches the same as all other organizations and restrict them from holding large gatherings. Click on the red “Take Action” link below and feel free to use or adapt the talking points provided. Calling your governor is the most powerful way to make your position heard, and personalizing your talking points is always a great strategy.