Tampa Bay Sheriff Arrests Christian Pastor For Providing “Non-Essential” Church Services…

“[Government] 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 – U.S. Constitution)

Setting aside my profound disdain for this action… In the short-term there will likely be those who genuinely believe this is legally defensible as a result of a public health emergency. However, in the long-term two things will happen: (1) over time, and up to the possibility of SCOTUS intervention, the pastor will win any legal case against him; and (2) hopefully people will realize quickly the term “essential service” is arbitrary.

Inside the definition of two words “essential services” (which is different from area to area) is all that remains of your liberty.  The first amendment of the constitution applies equally for all persons in all areas; the definition of “essential services” does not.  That’s the legal issue that will see this pastor win, if he chooses to fight.  Faith, the ability to worship, is easily argued as the preeminent ‘essential service’ to the individual and church.

FLORIDA – A Hillsborough County pastor was arrested Monday after he intentionally and repeatedly violated orders that no gatherings of 10 or more people he held in order to stop of the spread of COVID-19 by holding services at his megachurch, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Monday afternoon.

The sheriff’s office received an anonymous tip on Friday that Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, the pastor of the megachurch River at Tampa Bay Church in Riverview, refused to stop holding mass gatherings and instead was encouraging people to come to services.

[…] “His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk and thousands of residents who may interact with them in danger,” Chronister said.

The warrant charges the pastor with unlawful assembly and violation of public safety rules, both misdemeanors, according to Chronister.

Howard-Browne was booked into the local jail in Hernando County where he lives on Monday afternoon, and released 38 minutes later after posting bonds totaling $500. (more)

Let us be clear, the government can request, suggest and recommend that faith-based assemblies suspend their services; and in many cases those churches and religious groups may indeed choose to suspend their services. However, under no circumstance, including: war, famine or virus pandemics that could leave only a hand-full of people alive, can the government force the suspension; or punish those who refuse to comply.

Religious worship, including the assembly therein, is enshrined within the first amendment as it carries the first and ultimate essential service. There is absolutely no situation where that right can be removed.

It is often the case where people rush into reactions without thinking through the profound consequences.   Why do you think ‘freedom of religion‘, and ‘the right to peaceably assemble‘ is the first amendment?  The FIRST amendment.  It is specifically the first amendment so that government cannot define arbitrary reasons, any reasons, to limit that constitutional right.

The ability/right to go to a grocery store crowded with people is not more essential than the ability/right to practice your faith. Accept the removal of the primary right of U.S. citizens and there is no longer a country for coronavirus to infect.

This is not a slippery slope; this is akin to voluntarily jumping directly into the abyss….

This entry was posted in 1st Amendment, Abusive Cops, Big Government, Big Stupid Government, Christian Values, Conspiracy ?, Cultural Marxism, Donald Trump, Infectious Disease, media bias, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

243 Responses to Tampa Bay Sheriff Arrests Christian Pastor For Providing “Non-Essential” Church Services…

  1. Billy R. Bales says:

    Will not take heed to any of these orders of Neglecting service or Worship to my God;I don’t care who orders it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nope2GOPe says:

      This is nothing that some state-wide class action lawsuits shouldn’t resolve…

      Like

    • DaughterofLiberty says:

      These demonrats are completely out of control – this is simply an exercise of what to expect in the event a demonrat pres is ‘elected’ and/or they take the senate. This is all simply a harbinger of what is to come if/when they gain full control. Praise the LORD Donald Trump is in the Oval.

      Like

  2. sync says:

    So no more baptisms for babies. Too close to the pastor. An assembly with the pastor and parents and their children? Should he use a water pistol?
    Can’t receive communion. Can’t make confirmation?
    Oh, they are non essential

    I don’t want alternatives. I want to practice my religion as I see fit. Not how the state sees it.

    Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit group with an office in Orlando, said it is representing the church.

    I hope Alliance Defending Freedom gets involved

    https://www.adflegal.org/about-us

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nan says:

      My church shut down several weeks ago. Father and the cantor are there so God is there and we’re all there. The bishop dispensed us from our Sunday obligation before that said not to go to church if you at all don’t feel well, then mandated that those 65+ stay home.

      The bishop livestreams but it isn’t the same as being at home.

      You’re required to make a confession and to receive communion once a year, during Easter season, which begins on Easter Sunday

      Note thst churches closed in 1918 for the Spanish flu epidemic

      Liked by 4 people

    • tucker7518 says:

      Our lives will be changing.

      Like

  3. starfcker says:

    Strangely enough, he’s married to Eddie DeBartolo’s daughter. Eddie just got a pardon from President Trump last month if you remember

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Frank Hammond says:

    Anyone who thought that Local Law enforcement would never arrest good, church going, law abiding people in their community. You were wrong. There are “just following orders”. While taking people off the street and jailing them for not agreeing with the government edicts. Welcome to tyranny.

    Liked by 8 people

    • KnowSERENoFear says:

      Yes Sir! Shame on the sheriff who’s sole job is to protect citizens from tyranny.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Patchman2076 says:

      I could’ve swore I’ve seen this in a movie before, or maybe it was a TV show, or was some type of book I read it in…?

      Liked by 1 person

      • X XYZ says:

        “We gotta protect our phony baloney jobs, gentlemen!”

        That wasn’t said by the sheriff. It was said by The Gov.

        Liked by 1 person

      • X XYZ says:

        For those who don’t know – go watch “Blazing Saddles” – one of the funniest and most strident anti-racism movies of all time. Find the uncensored version. It was shown on network TV until the early 1990’s, when the TV broadcast networks were told to, or voluntarily did cut the “N” word out of EVERY scene. They gutted it, completely. At that point the movie no longer made any sense at all to anyone viewing it, nor had any point left in it at all. My mouth fell open when seeing it, as compared to the original.

        Guess who was the president then? That happened under the reign of King George I, AKA King George Bush the Elder. Funny how those establishment Republicans are. Mass censorship? Authoritarianism? We’ve lived through the reign of two Bush Kings. If you like your Bushes, you can keep your Bushes. You can keep “JEB!”, that pathetic pablum-puking idiot, their un-throned, and now forgotten son, too.

        Real Conservatives don’t vote for THAT kind of Republican. Let’s hope they never come back into power.

        Liked by 1 person

    • oldarmyblog says:

      That’s known as the Nuremberg defense. It didn’t hold water then and it wouldn’t now. The Military and all LEOs do not have to carry out illegal orders.

      Like

  5. farmerren says:

    I do hope this pastor fights hard, in the courts. It’s the right thing to do for all, even unbelievers.

    In the mean time he should ensure services continue via streaming.
    For those parishioners who do not have the ability to view on line, church members (think Acts) could ‘go out’, set up visits and/or prayer calls/chats w/ others. What ever it takes.

    God’s Word is Unstoppable”: That’s the theme of my Bible study group and to me it fits.
    https://www.bsfinternational.org/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan says:

      I think holding the service outside in the parking lot is a better solution so you can be 6 ft. away and/or sit in your car. Of course some churches don’t have parking lots. Some people don’t have cars to sit in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gary says:

        Where is your faith Christians? PSALM 91

        Like

        • dbobway says:

          As a God loving Christian, we are in uncertain times.
          Keeping people from worshiping together in a building, does not infringe our 1st amendment right to worship our Lord.
          Human life and a culture where morals are bending in every direction to please a few,
          are splitting the direction humans and our faith based government from running parallel.
          That was the founding Fathers plan.
          It was clear from the beginning, individual freedom comes with an individual’s responsibility to our Constitutional laws. This alone, continues to give us the freedom to worship our God. Nobody is rounding up Christians, yet religion has been using government to attempt to force our way of life on fellow citizens to comply, by lobbying for laws that fit a religious man’s version of morals on other men who may not agree with those morals.
          We are meant to be an example of God’s faith, only the Lord and the individual decide a man’s path forward.
          In my 65 years I have never experienced what we are going thru in our precious Republic. This horrible plague, is setting moral parameters on our country, like never before. Communities, who are set up on a faith based way of life, are proving once again our way of life, runs side by side, with the ‘value’ of human life.
          I read a woman’s statement on twitter. She said, she wished she lived in a home surrounded by land, right now, instead of being trapped in a small apartment, powerless to walk outside and breath fresh air, without the fear of catching a lethal virus.
          She is trapped in a prison of her own making. Her government promised her safety.
          I know of only one place where I’m safe and secure, in the house of God.
          It’s not a building, it’s not a government.
          Our Republic allows me the freedom to live in the house of God. The decision I make about my way of life, follow a path that parallels the sanctity of human life.
          One huge difference this plague has done, compared to 9/11?
          When did we see a picture of dead bodies stacked on a pallet, being lifted into a truck trailer, in 9/11. Myself, there was no difference, between these 2 horrible moments in history. I wasn’t in New York on 9/11. I’m not in an apartment, looking out my window, at dead bodies being loaded on a truck, on my street.
          I can go outside, walk down my street and sit with friends, share food, share the pain, pray together, cry together and thank God for his grace.
          Our government is trying to save lives, the best they know how.
          People are afraid. They believe the government will make decisions that will make us safer. I can respect these limitations at this time and still freely worship my God.
          I don’t want to spike the fear of others, by breaking with my government to meet in a building to worship our lord. They are thinking of us, right or wrong.

          I believe this will change the ‘world’ we live in, good or bad.
          It doesn’t change my world.
          My Grandpa told me, God is in my back pocket.
          I’m never alone.

          Liked by 2 people

          • avocadodipp says:

            Excellent post!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Xena Laminak says:

            We’re the same age and it’s almost as if I am reading something I would have typed myself. In 1972 I had a vision that the United States would cease to exist by 2025. Over the years I tried to figure out where I might be safe in my old age. I left New Jersey (my job was eliminated) in 2001 and went west. I now live in a house on 4 acres next to 40 miles of empty land. I do have neighbors but the closest is a good 150 feet away. I didn’t “see” a climate catastrophe nor a war. I saw the country just fall apart. As I write on March 31, 2020, I do not recognize the US that I thought I knew in 1972 or 1982 or 1992 or 2002. We have become a nation of wack jobs. Some are sane, like Sundance. Some have kept faith in a religion and strive to not go to hell be it Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, or Hindu hell or Jahannam as described in the Quran.
            But I see vast numbers of people who live as if they have no clue that someday they will die not MIGHT.
            I do not see the feminazis acting as if they believe there is any divine judgement.
            Pelosi who wraps herself in the altar cloth spews hate and then screams she’s a Catholic and doesn’t hate anyone.
            Rachel Maddow and Jim Acosta and all of the Left-wing media are so HELL bent on bashing Trump that this is NO way the USA I remember.
            Let’s back up to 1995 and ask if someone like Bill Maher in August 2019 wishing our economy would tank just so we could get rid of Trump would have a job the next day?
            Did you EVER think you’d sit down to watch a TV show and see a sex scene that looked like a porn shoot?
            Did you EVER think that abortions would be considered essential medical surgeries during a pandemic or that the Left would be screaming for sex change surgeries while granny can’t get a hip replacement?
            And now all of the scenes of road blocks and house to house searches for escapees from NYC bring’s George Orwell book 1984 onto our tv screens.
            I applaud you for your post. It’s well written and thoughtful.
            Our next question to the Creator, is NOW WHAT?

            Liked by 1 person

            • dbobway says:

              Thank you Xena,
              Every human born since 1995, have been watching death on TV with a filtered lense.
              The largest group, pushing back at our traditions, are going to be the largest victims to this plague.
              “Now What?’ could be now.
              It depends on the elitists network driving us to a Globalist serfdom. Right now, they’re hiding in glamorous caves, in the New Zealand Mountains. The model these Globalist’s advocate, is being destroyed by this virus almost exclusively.
              True reality is to know death, witness death and then fear what you have witnessed. That is hard to spin on TV.
              It just came out Chris ‘Fredo’ Couomo has tested positive to the virus. My first reaction was, that is terrible. Then I wondered, is the story were even true?
              At different levels of intensity, Americans have lived in a reality based environment, our entire history until 1973. That was my date, when everything changed, for me. That was the year I was going to be drafted and go fight a war, I grew up watching, fellow Americans die, on the 6:00 news, with the window in the corner of the screen, showing how many died that day and how many were wounded, some were friends, and some family. Whether I liked or not, I was the next soldier up. From my 10th birthday to 18, I saw my future. I wasn’t a fortunate son, but the son of a soldier.
              Everyday since, technology has taken us farther away from the reality, of mortality.
              Even 9/11, if you weren’t in New York, you watched it on TV, with ‘context and editing.’ The Middle east wars were fought by fly over country’s kids. If you didn’t want to fight, you didn’t have to. Then the ‘information age’ exploded on the scene and diluted truth and reality even more, with a socialistic, bent, because the top innovators were left coast baby boomers.
              Now we have liberal Governors who supported Sanctuary cities and open borders, who want to go door to door looking for out of staters, escaping the hot areas, stopping them at road blocks on their state borders.
              Authors and Hollywood has warned us about the manipulation of reality for a long time. They just did it better back in the old days. The movie ‘Network’ was today’s CNN, only Faye Dunaway was better looking than Brian Stelter. The Man who Fell to Earth, Apocalypse Now. These were a little more realistic than Zombies and vampires.
              When I was 16, I had to talk my Mom into taking my friend and I to see the movie Mash. We went to see it at the Fitzsimmons Army hospital theater in Denver. It was in the middle of the Vietnam war. Fitz was ground zero for the wounded warriors. The theater was packed with wheel chairs and white gowns with men who were missing limbs and entire bodies covered with gauze and tape, stained with blood. I’ve never laughed so hard at anytime since, those young men were watching a parody of a reality only they could imagine.
              Before this is over more Americans will see the reality of life and death, hope and defeat, courage and helplessness, many for the first time ever.
              Things are going to change.

              Like

      • farmerren says:

        What ever it takes to spread the word.

        Like

  6. Brian says:

    In the Soviet Union when the police arrested a pastor a member would rise to continue the Service. When he too was arrested another would take his place. And so it would continue until the police realized that they cold not arrest the entire populace.

    Make it so.

    Liked by 9 people

  7. hawkins6 says:

    What about allowing the congregation to exercise their religious rights to attend their mega church if they agree to specific travel restrictions and other self containment procedures within a specified range outside the church like every other citizen. I do realize this will establish another double standard but there are already numerous double, quadruple etc. standards across the nation as the church’s legal argument below indicates.

    From what I’ve read, the Ministry leaders are not amateurs, wackos or frivolous people as some might presume. They have a well-organized legal case already prepared. While I’m comfortable praying and honoring God at home or at a place of scenic beauty, these people are fighting for a right they strongly believe in.

    Given the chronic respiratory problems and near-death hospitalizations in my earliest years, I suspect the COVID-19 virus would eliminate me with relative ease as nature or the Chi Coms have designed. Attending a crowded church in the midst of an epidemic does not seem to be something the God I believe in would demand of me. However, it does take strong willed and courageous people to defend the rights of a nation; so it will be interesting to learn the outcome of this battle.

    ————————————————–
    Press Statement from Revival Ministries International and The River at Tampa Bay

    “In a time of national crisis, we expect certain institutions to be open and certain people to be on duty. We expect hospitals to have their doors open 24/7 to receive and treat patients. We expect our police and firefighters to be ready and available to rescue and to help and to keep the peace. The Church is another one of those essential services. It is a place where people turn for help and for comfort in a climate of fear and uncertainty.”

    “Therefore, we feel that it would be wrong for us to close our doors on them, at this time, or any time. In a time of crisis, people are fearful and in need of comfort and community, more than ever before. Even people who do not attend church regularly, or perhaps never go to church, need to know that there is somewhere for them to go when they need help…..” Cont’d
    https://www.revival.com/a/Press-Statement

    Here is their cogent legal argument:
    https://www.revival.com/a/COVID19-Restrictions-and-Freedom-of-Religion

    Liked by 4 people

    • Xena Laminak says:

      I”m confused. I don’t have a TV hooked up to satellite nor cable so I don’t get the news that way – just Internet news sites.
      What was this sheriff doing during Spring Break?
      Did he arrest the thong wearing crowd or just a pastor?
      Or did the Governor wait until AFTER Spring Break to put the rules in place that go the minister arrested?

      Like

      • hawkins6 says:

        That is a good question Xena. I checked his Twitter site and I couldn’t see any other specific concerns about large gatherings in his state but he often repeated the slogan “Safer-at-Home Order.”

        However, prior to arresting the Pastor, he did mention a judge’s order requiring him to release many of his jailed “low level” inmates. He didn’t express any concerns

        Like

  8. Joe Kenney says:

    Hope the anonymous tipster got their 30 pieces of silver.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. sarasotosfan says:

    Remember, this is TAMPA. This is not the state of Florida.

    Comrade Castor is a retiree from the city police force. Tampa sits in Hillborough County.

    None of this shocks anyone in southwest FL.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kitty Myers says:

    Our bishop suspended all daily masses temporarily in our diocese (Rochester, NY). The churches can remain open for people to pray, and confessions are still being held. Our priests and deacons stream one mass each week, which can be viewed on youtube. They suggested we can recite the spiritual communion, and I’ve heard they’ll try to have palms available for Palm Sunday. I live in Steuben County (NY) which now has 28 conformed case of COVID-19.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pew-Anon says:

      How many confirmed cases of influenza A/B are there in your county right now? I’d wager it’s a lot more than 28, and it has about the same morbidity and mortality of COVID-19. Not putting you on blast, just pointing out the types of questions we all should be thinking and asking about this supposed “pandemic” as it goes forward.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Pew-Anon says:

    How much more of this are we going to tolerate?

    Liked by 1 person

    • X XYZ says:

      Good question.
      After weeks of enforceable house arrest as a widespread authoritarian lockdown (AKA “guidance” – that kinder & gentler term?) what will happen?

      Expect an increase in domestic violence, depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, obesity, and ultimately civil unrest. When innocent, rational citizens are being treated like prisoners, some (those who are not sheeple) will rebel.
      Fasten you seat belts, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

      Like

    • tucker7518 says:

      It seems to be getting worse by the day.

      Like

  12. I don’t like it, but a court may be unlikely to overrule it while there is an Emergency Order in place, both locally and Federally. It would get interesting if the Federal Order were cancelled but not the local order. We all support the right to bear arms, too, but they won’t allow it at a presidential debate, either.

    This has happened before,,,and it has never happened before. Let me explain.

    If you look at Quarantine posters from 1918, you’ll see many of the same things. Bars closed, restaurants, schools. theaters, groups over 10 banned–even churches were closed. It was temporary and didn’t seem to do lasting damage. Here’s the difference: unlike 1918, many Democrats would love to shut churches down, virus or no virus. Just like some leftist judges were thrilled to empty the jails using the virus as an excuse, That didn’t happen in 1918, Nor did Democrat governors try to quash cures for political reasons. Nor did Democrats use it to try to federalize all elections with voter fraud and, above all, it wasn’t used as yet another weapon to overthrow a presidency.

    This seems like a bio-weapon to me. That’s new. too. If so, was it intentional or an accidental release? If intentional, did China have Deep State/Globalist help? They both have motive. Call it conspiracy theory if you like. I don’t care. This would be the greater threat to our liberties.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The Devilbat says:

    I wonder if the cops have the nerve to shut down all the mosques for Friday prayers. There are 2,106 in the USA with 118 in Florida where the pastor was arrested. That could result in a lot of muslims in a very nasty mood. If they decide that heads need to roll they will likely mean it literally.

    Liked by 5 people

    • X XYZ says:

      Cops do what they are told to do. Corrupt administration breeds corrupt cops. Same as everything in government.

      Baksheesh.
      How do you think those mosques got built?

      Like

  14. Randy Hoffner says:

    As a Christian I have a rather different understanding of this situation than has been expressed here. There are many “fearful” people all around that may not have the faith of Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, and I would suggest that before exercising his “right” that Pastor Howard-Browne read 1st Corinthians 8:

    1 Cor 8:9-11 AMP
    9 Only be careful that this power of choice (this permission and liberty to do as you please) which is yours, does not [somehow] become a hindrance (cause of stumbling) to the weak or overscrupulous [giving them an impulse to sin].
    10 For suppose someone sees you, a man having knowledge [of God, with an intelligent view of this subject and] reclining at table in an idol’s temple, might he not be encouraged and emboldened [to violate his own conscientious scruples] if he is weak and uncertain, and eat what [to him] is for the purpose of idol worship?
    11 And so by your enlightenment (your knowledge of spiritual things), this weak man is ruined (is lost and perishes) — the brother for whom Christ (the Messiah) died!

    And after reading this scripture verse I would suggest that Pastor Howard-Browne then lead his “ever-so-strong-in-their-faith” congregation over to all of the local hospitals in Tampa Bay – and after praying over all of the sick and healing them – then the city officials and the people of Tampa Bay will surely have no more fear or objection to the Pastor and his congregation having a full-blown worship service.

    So I have no objection to this man of faith and his congregation of faith having a love-fest of a worship service right in the midst of the worldly fear that is all around them, I just think that Jesus would have them re-order things a bit!

    Like

  15. taspok says:

    The first amendment says “Congress shall make no law…”, not Government. Do the state constitutions necessarily adapt and incorporate the US Constitution, and if so would the prohibition that “Congress shall make no law…” apply to the various state legislatures as well? Or, are the states free to restrict things prohibited by the federal constitution? If that is so, does the same authority to make (or prohibit) such laws or policies extend to the local/county level? It seems to be by definition, a legislative prohibition.

    What about local and state administrative officials initiating such policies as well? I do not remember anything in the constitution saying or implying that an executive official or division has the inherent power to arbitrarily make such regulations and act as if the force of law (a statute) were applied to it, except the president and I would assume the governors as well, during times of emergency declarations. Does this one rise to the level of abrogation of inalienable rights?

    I would suggest that the first amendment prohibits the Congress from making laws to undermine or restrict the pre-existing inalienable rights enumerated in the first amendment….but I am not an attorney. To me, it does not appear that the Constitution grants these rights to the people, but recognizes that they are pre-existing. Could our noble legal scholars enlighten us on these matters?

    Like

    • Bolivar says:

      President Trump has declared a National Emergency so rights can be suspended. Like the right of GM to decide what it wants to manufacture and to set its prices for its products. Trump assumed control over GM last week and ordered them to make products he wanted at prices he demanded. No negotiator. We are living in a different country. There is no constitution or rule of law. We are in a tyranny.

      Like

  16. Sepp says:

    An Orthodox Prayer for Deliverance from COVID-19

    O God Almighty, Lord of Heaven and earth, and of all creation visible and invisible, in Thine ineffable goodness, look down upon us, Thy people gathered in Thy Holy Name. Be Thou our helper and defender in this day of affliction. Thou knowest our weakness. Thou hearest our cry in repentance and contrition of heart. O Lord who lovest mankind, deliver us from the impending threat of the Corona Virus. Send Thine angel to watch over us and protect us. Grant health and recovery to those suffering from this virus. Guide the hands of physicians and preserve those who are healthy. Enable us to continue to serve our suffering brothers and sisters in peace that together we may glorify Thy most honorable and majestic Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

    Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

    Like

  17. Doug says:

    Chad chronister violated the first amendment rights he’s is a rinocrat and won’t get my vote and a couple thousand other Christians in Hillsboro county Florida I hope he sues the county broke

    Like

  18. Jerry says:

    “On January 12th this year, Hillsborough County sheriff Chad Chronister was featured prominently at a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” held at the River at Tampa Bay Church. This megachurch in Hillsborough County is led by the now arrested pastor Rodney Howard-Browne and his wife Adonica.” https://tampabayguardian.com/2020/03/30/chronisters-big-bromance-event-77-days-ago-with-pastor-he-now-arrested/

    Like

  19. Bolivar says:

    A formerly free citizen in a Republican State in a country with a Republican President and Republican Senate is arrested for having a church service. America is now a tyranny run by state bureaucrats collaborating with federal experts under President Trump. We are not free to work, to travel where we want when we want, we can’t even go to church. That is now a crime in Trump’s America, and since the Tea Party totally supports Trump no matter what he does fully supports all the social distancing mandatory voluntary guidelines that someone end up with police arresting and jailing a pastor for leading a church service. And there is no end in sight to this insanity. Just daily briefing after daily briefing and cheers from the people one would not so long ago have fought tooth and nail against this naked power grab by politicians brazenly using a fake crisis to steal the precious liberty of Americans. And, no matter what happens, the arrest, the 3.2 million new jobless claims in a week, the business closures and personal bankruptcies, none of this has anything to do with the man who is in the desk where the Buck Stops. He is just a passive observer and has done nothing to close any business. Odd that this magically happens on his watch with no protest from him as the governor issue orders that enforce his recommended suspensions of freedom.

    Now, this will be an annual 3-6 month shutdown as we have never ending war against viruses. Why wouldn’t it happen next year. The flu comes every year and we can’t have anyone dying from the flu. Trump has established National Business Shutdown as a new innovation in healthcare. Can’t wait till next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. jello333 says:

    Funerals. What about funerals? I want to see these scumbags try to shut down a funeral, or a large gathering at a cemetery. Yeah come on you Brownshirts, come arrest a bunch of grieving people!

    Yeah, you may notice I’m a wee bit angry about this. And not just the church part… ALL of it. And I don’t care, call me a conspiracy theorist or whatever you want. But SOMETHING is going on. Swine Flu, the Ebola scare, any number of other serious flu outbreaks over the years. Response has been nothing REMOTELY like this, and I don’t hear anyone now saying it SHOULD have been.

    So… WHY NOW?

    Liked by 3 people

    • CountryClassVulgarian says:

      “So… WHY NOW?”

      There’s this blog on the interwebs and the guy who runs/owns it has a saying. It goes something like this: “there are trillions at stake…trillions”

      The one man who is the most serious threat to the masters of those trillions appeared to be cruising to re-election. All other plots to stop him so far has failed…

      Like

  21. Rynn69 says:

    I think this article illustrates the concept of free will – and free choice – and freeDOM. Americans are a free people. We cannot be told to stop worshipping, to close down our business for some archaic reason, to be ordered to not eat out, to be ordered to stay in our homes by penalty of police arrest. This is all way over the line. Way over. We are a free people who have free will and it remains our choice. We know the risks. It is not for the government to decide.

    Like

  22. You are certainly highlighting a point that needs to be investigated. Things are too convenient for many vile actors in this fiasco.

    Frankly, from my perspective, this reeks of the Hegelian principle applied… create a problem, make the problem appear catastrophic, then appear to resolve the problem making you the hero. However, again from my perspective, President Trump is stealing the thunder from those instigating the problem. Moreover, why is the Chinese Communist Party so adamant about not having this virus attributed to them, when there is a great deal of evidence showing it came from Wuhan in China? Further, why are the Chinese Communist Party so adamant about being portrayed as the heroes with this problem, but will not allow the world to enjoin them in witnessing such valiant work? As I wear my tinfoil hat proudly, it is my supposition this entire “pandemic” is the purposeful malicious act of the Chinese Communist Party, motivated by losing standing and esteem in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Santiago 1314 says:

    How many people DIED in S. KOREA because of the “Church” there, that spread the Virus.???… Come on people… God is IN You, not in a Building.!!!… If you have to get Your “Religion” thru some Pastor that only Loves you for your Tithe; you need to Re-Examine your Relationship with Jesus… Because HE is The Way, The Truth and The Light… Your Church is putting MY 85 year old parents IN Danger.!!!… Not very Brotherly, if you ask me.!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CountryClassVulgarian says:

      All that is true but you really want to support the government arresting preachers? Call him reckless, stupid, shame him even. But arrest him when you are releasing real criminals from jail? I think I want to get off the bus now.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Rynn69 says:

      Disagree. It is not up to the government to make the call. It is up to the parishioner. This is what people keep missing. Do you honestly think giving over your free will to government is wise? Think people. Everyone knows about the risks. The church can post it on the door. It is the PEOPLE’S CHOICE to go to church or not. Let’s remember that.

      Liked by 3 people

  24. Santiago 1314 says:

    Federal Govt. Cannot infringe on Religous Liberties… This is State and Local Law Officials… Look back at the Original States… Each one of them had a Seperate “State” Religion… Churches must obey Local Health Laws… or more people, like my 85 year old parents will DIE; Like what happened in S.Korea and New Rochelle.!!! Matthew 6:6
    “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” … You don’t need anyone else to get to Jesus.!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rynn69 says:

      NO. WRONG. The parishioner makes the choice to attend or not in America. The parishioner is informed and makes the choice. It is not up to government to make these choices in a free country. No. Wrong.

      Liked by 3 people

  25. Kaco says:

    I hope this goes to the court. It’s sad that our rights have to go to court.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Mary Ann says:

    Many churches with the ability are holding services online..
    If they do not allow any gathering larger than 10.. what about other essential establishments?
    I wish I could shop with only 10 people in the store!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Angus D says:

    The left cannot be any happier

    Like

  28. Evelyn says:

    Totally although respectfully disagree with the premise of this article and those that feel that religious freedom has been attacked by the state in this particular case. In this situation in Hillsborough County, no one was trying to tell the church not to worship or share their faith in Christ like in the CCP. They were just told to avoid physically assembling in large groups to help stem a public health crisis. “Essential services” are under the same restrictions.

    Jesus told us to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and a public health issue like this falls into the Caesar bucket as far as I’m concerned.

    Like some arrogant megachurch pastors, this one demonstrated that he feels he is above the law. IMO this is what is referred to in the bible as the spirit of Antichrist, which is already at work in the world.

    To quote the book of Isaiah, “Woe to the idol shepherd who deserts his flock.” There was a similar though smaller incident like this recently, in Arkansas I think, where over 20 members of a congregation were infected at a service. This FL pastor flaunted his lack of true care for his flock in everyone’s faces. If by encouraging noncompliance with this public health threat he facilitated the spread of this disease among his parishioners, their families and community, then he is personally responsible for the consequences of that, which remain to be seen. Whether or not he is held responsible under the law of the United States, he is most certainly going to be responsible when he gives and accounting to Jesus. Unless he repents of his arrogance, he will be one of those that Jesus said he would respond to “depart from me, you worker of iniquity, I never knew you.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • efilnikcufecin101 says:

      Free Will. God will NOT punish the Pastor, he didn’t intentionally set out to cause harm to God’s people. He gave his parishioners a CHOICE, come to service or stay home. I saw no Guns or Armed militia forcing people in to the church. Putting this on the Pastor makes you just as guilty as he would be. It is an Insult to God and his people also that you would have them Literally be as sheep, mindless and only able to follow simple direction.
      This is In My Opinion.

      Like

  29. efilnikcufecin101 says:

    Hang that Sheriff High!! Do it fast too!! He is of Satan and should be treated as Dangerous as a Serpent or Adder that has the deadliest poison on earth. It does too, Hatred of God and his people.

    Like

  30. Michael Jones says:

    I’m guessing the taxpayers are gonna take a dim view of this Barney Fife wanna be when they find out how much the coming lawsuits are going to set them back. lol

    Like

  31. IT Mike says:

    Most will recognize this in some form. The author, Pastor Martin Niemoller, would frequently change some of the groups within depending on his audience. Name a group that if they “disappeared” you wouldn’t care normally. Shorter versions are more commonly found.

    Keep up the good work Treepers, fight the good fight, pray often, and look up for the day is nigh.

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist
    Then they came for the Socialists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a trade unionist
    Then they came for the sick
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not sick
    Then they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Jew
    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me

    Like

  32. law4lifeblog says:

    I practiced constitutional law for years including many religious liberty cases. Sundance is correct that the pastor will win his legal challenges, as he should. In fact, take some comfort in the near certainty that this was set up as a test case for just this purpose. Mat Staver has been in this fight for decades and he’s a real pro.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Comrade Mope says:

    The Public economy has required the general strike of the Private economy ostensibly to control the spread of this virus. All but “essential services” are controlled and closed. The “essential services” are government and those companies deemed to be providing the government with the requirements to run the Public sector. The companies allowed to make a profit during this shut-down do not necessarily has to have any impact on reducing the expansion of the virus; keeping the government functioning is “essential” enough. The remainder in the Private sector are, thus, deemed nonessential. Free Market Capitalism is non-essential.

    Ask yourself: “Non-essential to whom?” If the taxes paid by the Private economy are non-essential, why are those taxes required in the first place?

    This virus requires an investigation into the wisdom of running a Public sector and a Private sector using the same currency. The value of the currency to both the public sector and the private sector is hugely divergent. The economy cannot have the same currency for the Public sector buying a $800.00 toilet seat that the Private sector can but for $22.00. It just cannot continue.

    Similarly, one sector cannot be deemed more essential than the other if the value of the currency is to equal in both sectors.

    Like

    • 1nikao says:

      I have a very conservative friend who believes President Trump is the Antichrist.
      I do not agree with her.
      But, many are celebrating the end if the Fed.
      While on the surface this seems well and good, my spidey sense says to me, “Who will be your master?”
      Are we Constitutionalists exchanging our freedoms for what we perceive to be something better from the Federal Government (or something altogether other) in order to be rid of the decades old corruption within our government agencies.
      Anyone who believes that Germans were on the whole a corrupted mass populace who wanted to kill millions of other people in order to keep their blood line “pure,” is believing a very simple fairy tale.
      The average German citizen was in denial about the reality of their national participation in genocide. This is true of most genocidal actions in history. Nobody believes themselves to be guilty of murdering innocents. Or, voluntarily kidnapping or imprisoning others. They desire it only “for the greater good.”
      When we judge ourselves only on our intentions, we can ALWAYS justify our own actions, no matter how heinous.

      Like

      • jello333 says:

        Milgram experiments. Anyone who thinks “It can’t happen here” needs to read up on that. VERY scary stuff. Oh, but as for Trump being the Antichrist? I don’t know… he’s got a unique name and all (“Trump”), but it has to be much cooler if he wants to get any cred as the Antichrist. Like… Nicolae Carpathia. Yeah, how cool is that? Damien Thorn was great, but Nicolae Carpathia is just perfect. 🙂

        Like

      • Comrade Mope says:

        Your first two sentences I will not comment on, for they do not hold much importance. Sorry to be so blunt.
        As for the celebrating the end of the Fed, I will remind you the Federal Reserve is a Private Corporation. I have proof, on their own letterhead in their own words to that effect. The horseless carriage put the buggy-whip manufacturers out of business, similarly, something else will replace the Federal Reserve. Hopefully, the bank of the United States.
        “Who will be my master?” Really? I better let you elaborate.
        From the Federal Government I, first and foremost, want fairness. I do not want the government picking winners and losers, or who is profitable and who is not.

        As for you German discussion, I have several German friends. I have many Jewish friends. I ask: “How many generations of German children must pay the price of their grandparents?” In our Constitution, Treason cannot work corruption of blood. Why are German grandchildren still paying the price of their ancestors? “Never Forget” is not the same as “Never Stop Paying the Price”.

        Like

        • 1nikao says:

          I will not comment on your last paragraph.
          My question remains, “Who will be your master?”
          Trump will not be President forever.
          The government will be controlled by less scrupulous people when he is gone.

          Like

  34. Deserttrek says:

    The sheriff has shown his intentions. He is an enemy of The People

    Like

    • Comrade Mope says:

      With all due respect, it is not enough to deem the sheriff an enemy of the people. Pensions for government work must cease. For government workers to receive a paycheck in complete disproportion of their private sector, and with a pension the private sector has to fund, the only realistic answer is to defund government pensions and force government workers into the open market, where they can die of starvation.

      Like

  35. gary wagoner says:

    The pastor should not have been arrested but what he did is foolish. It does not give a good testimony. When God sent the death angel over Egypt the Israelites stayed home. I will fight and die for my right worship but Jesus warned us to be wise as serpents but harmless as doves. As someone one said I trust God but I still wear my seat belt. We suspended services in our church in order to help protect our older members. As a shepherd my duty is to watch over my sheep not to put them in harms way simply to prove a point.
    If the government said to me, ‘You cannot preach the gospel’ that is one thing. I remember from the story of John Bunyan. He was jailed for preaching the gospel. After many years he was released and warned not to preach again. What did he do? The very next day he was preaching again. He was also arrested again. If the government comes at me with a cease and desist order concerning the preaching of the gospel, it will on like donkey kong but to put people at risk unnecassirily is not good.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Bull says:

    I’m not sure if anyone mentioned this but a Florida Law Enforcement Officer can only arrest on probable cause or a valid warrant. If there were two “warrants” that he was arrested on, that means the sheriff’s office wrote an affidavit(s) and then found a judge to sign it and then issued the warrants. Not to excuse the sheriff, but obviously an activist judge with no belief in the constitution made the decision to arrest by issuing the warrants.

    Like

  37. Dan says:

    I wonder what would happen to the Sheriff’s attitude if he and his family were pelted with tomato’s and rotten eggs whenever he/they ventured into public, if his house was showered with gifts of dog turds every evening. He is a coward, a moron, and a tyrant. He would separate people from their families, deny them the ability to provide for their families. The impact of his actions causes harm to children. He should suffer the consequences and have to consider the ramifications to his family of the consequences of he behavior just like he demands of everyone else.

    On a die note, why is it that no government job has been declared non-essential and the people sent home without pay?

    Like

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