Written by Nicholas Vetrisek
A San Diego federal judge has denied South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista the right to worship indoors for the third time.
U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant stated in the ruling that “The Court does not doubt that not being able (to) congregate indoors imposes a burden on Plaintiffs’ religion.. Nevertheless, the Court also recognizes that the burden is a temporary one, with widespread vaccination in close sight. The Court concludes that it serves the public interest to continue to protect the population as a whole, in this dire phase of the pandemic.”
Her appeal to optimism when she says that the burden is temporary due to vaccination is obviously false. Experts consistently agree that the vaccinations will not change the nature of the pandemic, so her putting what she calls a “burden” on the right to worship is for the long term. More importantly, it raises a much larger question.
Is the Constitution optional? Can it be disregarded during a pandemic or any other time of crisis merely in the vague interest of the “public good”? After all, the right to peacefully assemble and the right to worship are both protected by the first amendment. This ruling shows that the supposed natural rights given by God are meaningless text on a 200 year old piece of paper. The course this case has taken throughout the various state and national courts only further justifies this idea.
After being initially rejected by Bashant, the case went to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and lost. The U.S. Supreme Court then declined to take it up. In other words, the 9 people tasked specifically with upholding the Constitution sold it down the river.
Now the church can only hold outdoor services and is not allowed to use its own house of worship.
The measures used to prevent the spread of Coronavirus often border on pseudoscience but they are nonetheless rigidly adhered to. The government allows people to demonstrate, protest, and even riot but will not permit them to pray in church.
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