Tell DeSantis to rescind church exemption in gathering ban


Gov. Ron DeSantis has made a decision that will cause Floridians to die, because he wants to show how much he loves religion. We at FFRF are outraged — and you should be, too.

Please take a moment to tell DeSantis that churches cannot be exempt from bans on large gatherings.

Read FFRF’s letter to DeSantis here.

Even after the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent letters to the governors of all 50 states explaining that the U.S. Constitution requires that they include religious congregations in any ban on large gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis belatedly issued a prohibitory order that includes an exemption for churches. The church exemption even specifically overrides (or “pre-empts”) local rules to the contrary, meaning that your local officials cannot protect you even if they want to.

According to several news reports, DeSantis has exempted churches from the orders to pacify a few loud Christian Nationalists lamenting the lawful arrest of Rodney Howard-Browne, who had violated local rules prohibiting big crowds.

Allowing large church gatherings is not just a danger to congregants and their families. As we saw in South Korea, and are beginning to see all over the United States, one sizable group can lead to an explosion of infections throughout the entire community. The state of Florida has the ability — and an obligation — to prohibit all non-essential large gatherings. Exempting church services is unconstitutional, immoral and deadly.

Please use our automated system to contact DeSantis’ office to urge him to rescind this exemption. You can use our suggested talking points, but concise personalized messages are more effective.


Freedom From Religion Foundation

Send this to a friend