Safety Over Freedom?
As the novel Coronavirus makes its deadly rounds across the world with Medical officials scrambling to get control of cases, questions have arisen specifically in the United States about the constitutionality of the rules and recommendations being enforced in all 50 states.
Medical officials apart of the White House task force like Dr. Anthony Fauci have repeatedly failed to answer these questions but have rather chosen to double down on more recommendations that seem to fly straight in the face of American rule of law.
Here is a list of the Recommendations outlined by the task force in a mass effort to effectively mitigate the virus:
That list of guidelines, though reasonable has caused a laundry list of constitutional dilemmas to play out in many states over the past week.
States like Kentucky cracked down on Churchgoers attempting to worship at Church over Easter weekend. Due to social distancing guidelines Churches have reverted to live streams and pre-recorded videos, however, with Easter Sunday being the most important date on the Christian calendar it comes without question that many church congregations would want to try and be together. Some congregations broke the rules while others organized "drive-in church." Efforts to do anything apart from staying home were met with harsh responses from local authorities - police threatened to "record" the license plates of church members attempting to worship in defiance of state guidelines. Even more desperate measures appeared to have been taken to keep members away, with “piles of nails" placed at the entrance of some church parking lots.
Maryville Kentucky's Baptist Preacher Jack Roberts had told The Courier-Journal that he would rather go to jail and court than pay a fine for violating the March 19 order of Kentucky’s health department.
Louisville Kentucky's Our Savior Lutheran Church streamed its in-person service live on YouTube. The church had required online registration beforehand and restricted seating to every other pew. The video stream did not show the audience.
Some states, including Florida, have made exemptions to allow religious gatherings to proceed during the coronavirus. Kentucky does not have that exemption.
Does the safety of American citizens trump the freedom given to them by their God through the constitution? While it's important to mitigate as much as possible it is equally as important to refrain from crossing the very clear line of the first amendment. Recommendations to wash hands and stay home are guidelines that should be respected and followed but at no point in American history should Walmart be more essential than the corporate expression of worship to God.