Monday, April 20, 2020

Hate group: Religious liberty includes the right to contract COVID-19

David Closson
David Closson is Family Research Council's Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview
via Family Research Council
Family Research Council, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, claims to have documented all of the terrible “offenses” that Christians have endured. Four of FRC's people were required to compile the 22 page treatise: David Closson, Quena Gonzalez, Katherine Johnson and Travis Weber.

Their document is titled Restrictions on Religious Freedom During the Coronavirus Crisis. Overall, the intent is to promote the idea that religious observance at a house of worship is an “essential” activity which should be free of restrictions.

I can understand why they feel that worship is essential. The problem is that gathering in groups not only endangers them but potentially makes them carriers of the virus which endangers everyone else.

These are the same people — overt and enthusiastic Trump supporters — who want to restart the economy prematurely. According to the New York Times, purveyors of Trump-branded “fake news:”
Singapore Seemed to Have Coronavirus Under Control, Until Cases Doubled

The spread suggests that it is unrealistic for the United States, Europe and the rest of the world to return to the way they were anytime soon, even if viral curves appear to flatten.
The lead author of Family Research Council's diatribe is David Closson. Closson is possibly responsible for some of Peter Sprigg's unhinged anti-LGBTQ bigotry:
David Closson serves as the Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, where he researches and writes on life, human sexuality, religious liberty, and related issues from a biblical worldview.

David previously served as the Research Fellow for Religious Freedom and Biblical Worldview at FRC.
The summary of their publication reads:
These restrictions are impacting many areas of life, including our religious exercise and worship, specifically our ability to gather in local church buildings. The following examples of state and local government restrictions are currently impacting religious practice around the country:

(1) Restrictions on nonessential entities and businesses (which affect the ability of places of worship to continue operating—unless designated “essential”);
(2) Restrictions on the movement of pastors and clergy as part of the general restrictions on movement (which affect the ability of pastors and clergy to attend to spiritual needs—unless designated “essential”); and
(3) Restrictions on meetings and gatherings of people (which affect worship services).
The above is all factually correct. FRC sees this as an infringement on their right to get sick. I see this as government attempting to keep people safe from their own stupidity. In doing so the general public is safer.

The text is actually well balanced but nuanced. I suspect (just my opinion) that FRC's constituency will conclude that their religious freedom is being compromised.

Within the text, FRC concedes that it is not unconstitutional to restrict religious observances at a time of crisis. However, they conclude:
Even amid the most trying of circumstances, the right to freely exercise one’s religion must not be improperly infringed or unconstitutionally abridged. These are challenging times for all, but it is also a time to encourage and care for one another and to protect the health and safety of our neighbors, while we work together to overcome the coronavirus.

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