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Christianity Churches Homelessness feces Homelessness in nyc Homesless vs church Intelwars New York City Presbyterian church.

NYC church forced to barricade front steps to keep homeless people from defecating and leaving syringes on them

A church in New York City has resorted to barricading their front steps in order to stop homeless people from leaving feces and used needles.

“These people would come and crap all over the stairs!” said a member of the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hell’s Kitchen to the New York Post.

The super in charge of the church said that the faithful had to resort to avoiding the front steps altogether and going through an alternative side entrance to go to their weekly services.

“I don’t open it up anymore,” said the super about the front entrance. “They were throwing syringes in there, smoking pot on the steps.”

Another church member told the Post that the super stands outside the church to keep the homeless moving, sometimes for 10 hours a day.

“Every day I’m fighting these guys. I’ve had to put my foot in a few a**es!” said the church super. “Right now I’m like a security guard.”

The Trinity Presbyterian Church says on its website that it serves about a hundred church members.

Zack Rakitnican works as a super at apartment buildings on the same block, and he says the homeless crisis has become the worst he’s ever seen.

“It was never like this here all the years I work here,” said Rakitnican. “Last 15 years, never this bad. It’s going down fast.”

Residents see increased crime, harassment

Community activist Holly-Anne Devlin praised the city for a program that would help homeless people find shelter in hotels, but also admitted that drug dealers were taking advantage of the situation.

“They seem to be either selling drugs within the shelters, outside the shelters, and it’s causing a great deal of harassment, crime, you know, the neighborhood is feeling very unsafe for a lot of citizens,” Devlin said to WCBS-TV.

The homelessness crisis in New York City has worsened under the strains imposed by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown response. In April, subway and bus conductors reported that the homeless were making their buses and trains into makeshift living spaces and leaving unsanitary conditions.

Here’s more about the homeless crisis in New York City:


New Yorkers Notice Spike In Homelessness Across Manhattan

www.youtube.com

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California Churches Coronavirus COVID-19 Health Intelwars NFL

California Churches Have Been Shut Down Indefinitely, And The NFL Season May Be In Jeopardy

As I have warned many times before, life is not going to be getting back to normal any time soon.  The state of California just instituted a whole bunch of new COVID-19 restrictions, and the California Department of Health has confirmed that as a result of those new restrictions all in-person church gatherings have been banned “with no definite end date”.  Of course many churches will continue to have online services, but it just isn’t the same.  And with greatly reduced revenues coming in for the foreseeable future, a lot of smaller churches may not be able to survive.  It is one thing to lock down a state for a few weeks so that hospitals do not get completely overwhelmed during a pandemic, but it looks like California may be locked down for months to come, and some are even speculating that the restrictions could stretch into next year.

When the new restrictions were put into place, a lot of people didn’t understand that they included church services too.  Sadly, the California Department of Health has made it clear that no “indoor religious services” will be permitted

The California Department of Health clarified Tuesday to the Daily Caller News Foundation that indoor religious services in the state have been suspended with no definite end date.

Over four months after California initially instituted a lockdown on March 19, the state issued a new coronavirus order Monday that rolled back reopening plans. The order mandates that restaurants, bars, churches, fitness centers, hair salons, and barber shops must be closed in 30 of the hardest hit counties in California.

Each week, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. has continued to rise, and at this point it appears unlikely that the state of California will lift these new restrictions any time soon.

That also means that there won’t be any crowds at sporting events in the state for the foreseeable future either.

NFL players are supposed to start reporting to training camps shortly, but it is starting to become clear that the season is in serious jeopardy.

If the season does move forward, the games will almost certainly be played in stadiums without fans.  That would definitely be required for the three NFL teams that are located in California, and the rest of the clubs are likely to choose to do so as well for safety reasons.

But even if fans are excluded, that still doesn’t keep the players safe from one another.

Football is a contact sport, and so any sort of “social distancing” is simply not possible.  In such an environment, a virus can spread like wildfire.

And this week we learned that 72 NFL players have already tested positive for COVID-19…

With training camps set to open in less than two weeks, 72 National Football League players had tested positive for COVID-19 as of July 10, according to the players’ association.

It was not immediately clear who the players were or which teams they play for.

There is no way that the NFL can guarantee that players will not be exposed to COVID-19 during the games, and so the players association plans to push for opt-out clauses during negotiations with the owners which would give some players the option to decide not to play if they don’t feel it is safe to do so…

  • An opt-out clause for at-risk players to receive salary (but not bonuses) if they decide not to play.
  • An opt-out clause for players with at-risk families to earn an accrued season and benefits if they decide not to play.
  • An opt-out clause for players who leave the team after reporting (terms uncertain).
  • A $250,000 stipend guaranteed to all players if they show up to camp and everything is shut down because of COVID-19 concerns. That amount rises to $500,000 if the season starts, only to be shut down.

Of course there are many, many other things that the players and the owners must agree on before the season starts

The money — whether it’s the pay of players in 2020 or the impact on future salary caps — has to be bargained out.

The COVID-19 testing regimens have to be bargained out.

The protocols about how camps can be run on a daily basis have to be bargained out.

The safety protocols beyond testing have to be bargained out.

Equipment changes, such as mandatory face shields, have to be bargained out.

The clock is ticking, and NFL owners have been very slow to make progress on these things.

I think that even the owners aren’t sure if there will be a season, and they have probably been holding off until there was more clarity on the progression of the pandemic.  But at this point the players are starting to run out of patience.

Speaking as a football fan, I am very much looking forward to the 2020 season, and I would be extremely disappointed if it was canceled or if it was stopped before it was fully completed.

Unfortunately, we are being told that either of those scenarios may happen.  For example, NFLPA President J.C. Tretter sounded quite pessimistic about the season in a recent blog post

Every decision this year that prioritizes normalcy over innovation, custom over science or even football over health, significantly reduces our chances of completing the full season.

We don’t want to merely return to work and have the season shut down before we even get started. The NFLPA will do its part to advocate for player safety. We will continue to hold the NFL accountable and demand that the league use data, science and the recommendations of its own medical experts to make decisions. It has been clear for months that we need to find a way to fit football inside the world of coronavirus. Making decisions outside that lens is both dangerous and irresponsible.

And Dr. Anthony Fauci recently expressed his opinion that “it would be very hard to see how football is able to be played this fall”.

Of course some college football games have already been canceled, and the rest of the college football season is definitely up in the air.

We shall see what happens with college football, but at this point many people are not optimistic.

If it turns out that there is no football at all this fall, that is going to be extremely depressing.

But the good news is that as I write this article the NFL is still planning to kickoff the regular season on September 10th, and so let us hope that actually happens.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

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Baltimore Churches Coronavirus lockdown Intelwars Maryland Reopening watch

Churches in Baltimore area hold services in defiance of local stay-at-home orders: ‘If Walmart’s open, it’s time for the churches to be open’

Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday moved from a statewide stay-at-home order to a safer-at-home public health advisory in the continuing fight against the coronavirus.

Part of the
announcement said churches and houses of worship “may begin to safely hold religious services, at up to 50 percent capacity, with outdoor services strongly encouraged.”

Good news for churches, right?

Well, that depends on where churches are located — because Hogan’s reopening plan also “empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings.”

And for Friendship Baptist Church in Baltimore City and Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk — where local officials are still prohibiting indoor religious services of more than 10 people — it was bad news.

The defiant ones

But both churches opened up anyway for services Sunday at 50% capacity in keeping with Hogan’s directive but in direct defiance of local officials’ mandates,
WJZ-TV reported.

“We got a mayor saying we can only worship in our parking lots, which is ridiculous,” Rev. Alvin Gwynn, pastor of Friendship Baptist, told the station in reference to Democratic Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, who’s keeping the city under a stay-at-home order even though Hogan said restrictions could be loosened.

The first service at Friendship Baptist was held at 7:45 a.m. and the next one was scheduled for 10:45 a.m.,
WBAL-TV reported, which added that people were entering the church, but not many.

Gwynn also told WBAL that a police car parked in front of the church was meant to intimidate him and the attendees.

“The city has no legal standing,” he added to the station. “What are they going to do? Have officers come and take body cameras and record you and then go back and talk to their attorneys to see what they can do with them or not? That’s nothing but intimidation.”


Baltimore pastor again defies stay-home order

youtu.be

David Gibbs, legal counsel for Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, Baltimore County, told WJZ: “If Walmart’s open, it’s time for the churches to be open.”

He added to the station that while Hogan “opened churches back up, unbelievably your county has acted unconstitutionally.”

Indeed Calvary Baptist also held Sunday services in defiance of the county’s executive order that prohibits indoor services of more than 10 people.

And in the wake of all that, the church’s pastor, Stacey Shiflett, went on video to describe “intimidating statements” in a “cease and desist” letter from Baltimore County’s Department of Health and Human Services, which warned the church it “could be subject to a fine of up to $5,000” if further services were held that “violate Executive Order 2020-005.”

Shiflett asked those watching the clip to pray for him and the church in light of the developments, saying that he and other church members have had it with not being able to gather.

“We’re not satisfied with teleconferencing and Zoom services,” he said. “We want to go back to church the way God intended, the way our Constitution intended.”

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Churches COVID-19 Georgia church Intelwars Texas church

Georgia, Texas churches forced to close doors once more after congregants come down with coronavirus

At least two churches in Georgia and Texas closed their doors once more amid the COVID-19 pandemic after congregants reportedly tested positive for the virus.

So what’s happening in Georgia?

A spokesperson for Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle in Ringgold, Georgia, told the Christian Post that the church shuttered for a second time during the coronavirus pandemic after some of its congregants began “dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 virus.”

The church, according to the spokesman, would no longer be offering “in-person worship services for the foreseeable future.”

The church will remain closed until “further notice in an effort of extreme caution for the safety and well-being of our families.”

Catoosa initially reopened its doors in early May after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced the plan to begin reopening the state and lessening restrictions on all non-essential businesses.

“Seating was marked only to permit sitting within the six foot guidelines, all doors were open to allow access without the touching of doors, and attendees were asked to enter in a social distancing manner and were dismissed in a formal manner as well to ensure that the social distancing measures were adhered [to] by all,” the spokesperson said.

And in Texas?

Houston, Texas, church Holy Ghost Parish followed suit after reportedly experiencing a similar uptick in COVID-19 infections.

In a statement, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said that the church — which began holding services just weeks ago — closed its doors in an effort to eradicate the spread of coronavirus.

The decision followed the death of one of its leaders, Father Donnell Kirchner, 79. Kirchner reportedly died after contracting the deadly respiratory illness.

The archdiocese said, “Although the parish had followed cleaning, sanitation, and social distancing guidelines prescribed by state health officials since reopening on May 2nd, they determined that at that time it was best to close the Church immediately to public Masses.”

“This past weekend,” the statement continued, “five of the seven members of the Redemptorists religious community learned that they had tested positive for COVID-19, including two priests who had been active in celebrating public Masses at Holy Ghost since May 2nd. As a result of these findings, all Masses at Holy Ghost Church remain cancelled until further notice.”

“While the Redemptorists currently residing at Holy Ghost are asymptomatic, they, and the other members of the community, are in quarantine in the residence isolated from the others,” the statement added.

At the time of this writing, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that there have been at least 38,855 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Georgia, as well as 50,552 cases across the state of Texas.

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christian Church Churches Coronavirus Coronavirus Lockdowns COVID-19 COVID-19 Lockdowns Health Intelwars

Will Some Churches Be Forced To Close For The Entire Duration Of The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Isn’t it odd that Walmart stores all over the nation have remained open throughout this crisis but we are being told that it is “too risky” to hold a church service in many states?  During this crisis it has often been said that “my rights do not end where your fears begin”, but right now we are witnessing a stunning erosion of our First Amendment rights.  Churches remain closed in many states, and some churches in states that have “reopened” are now being forced to close down again.  For example, a Baptist church in Georgia has announced that they will not be holding any in-person worship services “for the foreseeable future”

A representative for the Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle in Ringgold, Ga., told The Christian Post in a statement on Monday that church decided earlier this month to no longer offer “in-person worship services for the foreseeable future” after confirming some of its families were “dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 virus.”

When that church started holding services again recently, extremely strict social distancing guidelines were put into place

“Seating was marked to only permit sitting within the six-foot guidelines, all doors were open to allow access without the touching of doors, and attendees were asked to enter in a social distancing manner and were dismissed in a formal manner as well to ensure that the social distancing measures were adhered by all,” the church told the outlet.

But even with all of those restrictions, COVID-19 started spreading in the church.

And so now that church has closed up shop indefinitely.

In Houston, another church that recently reopened has now been forced to close again

Days after the move by the church in Georgia, ABC News reported that Houston-based Holy Ghost Parish also did the same after it was discovered multiple members of the organization had contracted the novel coronavirus and one leader had died.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said the church, which had also reportedly begun hosting mass at the start of May as some coronavirus restrictions on certain businesses in Texas had begun to ease, decided to re-close last week after the death of Father Donnell Kirchner, 79.

Sadly, we will probably see a lot more stories like this in the weeks and months to come.

But no matter what we do, we aren’t going to be able to prevent people from catching the virus.  In order to do that, we would literally have to shut down everything for a very long time, and that is simply not going to happen.

Whether the current “shelter-in-place” restrictions remain in place or not, and whether we are holding church services or not, the truth is that this virus is going to continue to spread.

And it will keep spreading until the vast majority of the U.S. population has been exposed to the virus and herd immunity has been achieved.

So shutting down all of our churches is not going to solve anything, but the mainstream media keeps pumping out horror stories about how Christian gatherings are helping to spread COVID-19.  For example, the following comes from CNN

A person who later learned they were positive for Covid-19 attended a California religious service on Mother’s Day, exposing 180 other people to the novel coronavirus, according to local health officials.

The individual got a positive diagnosis for Covid-19 the day after the service and is now in isolation at home, Butte County Public Health said in a statement Friday.

And here is a story from NBC News about a church in Arkansas…

Two people infected with COVID-19 spread the virus to more than 30 people during church gatherings in Arkansas in early March, before the first case was ever diagnosed in that state, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday.

The cases illustrate how rapidly the virus can spread to others involved in faith-based organizations, and may have implications for places of worship as churches nationwide figure out how to reopen safely.

But why don’t we ever see any stories about how our major retail stores have become hotbeds for spreading the virus?

Without a doubt, it would be much easier to catch COVID-19 in a large retail store than it would be in a church.  Thousands upon thousands of people are constantly streaming through our big stores, and many of them have got to be absolutely teeming with the virus.

It just greatly disturbs me to see such a double standard going on.

If it is safe enough for people to go to Costco, then it is safe enough for them to go to church.

And the truth is that a lot of our churches are going to end up collapsing if they are not permitted to reopen soon.  According to the Washington Post, approximately one-third of all U.S. churches “have no savings”…

The novel coronavirus is pressing painfully on the soft underbelly of U.S. houses of worship: their finances. About a third of all congregations have no savings, according to the 2018-2019 National Congregations Study. Just 20 percent streamed their services and 48 percent were able to accept donations electronically, the study found, making it more challenging to serve the faithful and gather their donations during the virus shutdown.

Already, some churches have been forced to lay off staff and radically cut expenses.

If they are not allowed to resume normal activity for the foreseeable future, many of them will not end up surviving at all.

Even before this pandemic, it was estimated that somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 churches were dying each year in the United States.

Needless to say, the number for this year will be off the charts.

Of course some churches will insist on waiting to reopen until the threat of COVID-19 has completely passed, but that might be a really, really long time.

In fact, a draft Pentagon memo that was just made public is warning that this virus will remain a threat until “at least the summer of 2021”

The Defense Department should prepare to operate in a “globally-persistent” novel coronavirus (COVID-19) environment without an effective vaccine until “at least the summer of 2021,” according to a draft Pentagon memo obtained by Task & Purpose.

“We have a long path ahead, with the real possibility of a resurgence of COVID-19,” reads the memo, authored for Secretary of Defense Mark Esper but not yet bearing his signature.

There are very, very few churches in America that could afford to be shut down for that long.

And what most people don’t realize is that COVID-19 is not the worst thing we are going to face.  Much larger challenges are on the horizon, and they will shake our society to the core.

At a time like this, people need hope, and that is why it is so important for our churches to be up and running.

Unfortunately, many of them now have a closed sign, and that is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

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Churches Coronavirus church Intelwars Places of worship religious freedom Religious gatherings

A megachurch pastor is calling on all churches nationwide to open this Sunday in support of religious freedom

Megachurch Pastor Brian Gibson announced that he plans to open the doors for worship gatherings at all four of his congregations this Sunday in support of Americans’ First Amendment rights, and he is calling on all places of worship nationwide to do the same.

Gibson, who serves as senior pastor of HIS Church, a nondenominational church with two congregations in Amarillo, Texas, and two congregations in Owensboro, Kentucky, made the announcement in an online petition Monday called “Peaceably Gather.”

“People in churches, mosques, and synagogues have been told that, regardless of any social distancing or protective practices they implement, they can not gather, with threats of retribution from local governments if they don’t keep their doors closed,” Gibson said in a news release.

Gibson went on to call it “not just ironic” but “a deliberate slap in the face to religious freedom” that places such as grocery stores could have hundreds of people inside their building at any one time, “but places of worship and people of faith can’t be trusted to implement the same safety procedures in their own buildings.”


Join Us at PeaceablyGather.com

youtu.be

Gibson added that the Peaceably Gather initiative comes in response to state and local officials and law enforcement across the country that have targeted places worship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a video introducing the online petition, Gibson said, “I believe that Jesus is a lamb, but he’s also a lion” before calling on pastors around the country to be “lions and stand up and roar” in the face of lockdowns that have prevented churches from gathering since the start of the outbreak.

In some states, worship gatherings are being phased back in as the virus wanes, while in other states, executive orders continue to prevent any such gatherings. One example is in Illinois, where Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced churches will be barred from holding services with more than 50 people “until there is a vaccine, highly effective treatment, or elimination of any new cases over a sustained period.”

In Kentucky, where two of Gibson’s congregations are located, churches will be allowed to reopen at reduced capacity on May 20. But Gibson said his Kentucky congregations will be meeting on May17 anyway in a show of defiance.

According to NBC News, “lawsuits claiming that state restrictions on religious gatherings infringe on freedom of religion have been filed in Kentucky, California, Louisiana, Virginia and elsewhere.”

The Trump administration so far has been generally supportive of churches in such lawsuits. Last week, the Justice Department filed a statement of support for a rural Virginia church in its lawsuit against the state for not allowing services with more than 10 participants.

Late last month, Attorney General William Barr ordered federal prosecutors to “be on the lookout” for unconstitutional state and local orders, saying, “the Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis.”

The First Liberty Institute, a legal organization dedicating to defending religious liberty in America, is providing legal representation to Gibson as he rolls out the initiative.

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Churches Contact tracing Coronavirus america Intelwars Kansas City Mayor reopen economy Shutdown Stay-at-home orders

After getting blasted for ‘Nazi-like’ order that churches keep lists of attendees, KC mayor backs down

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas drew notable criticism over his recent
order that churches and other places of worship keep lists of names of service attendees so the city’s health department can track those potentially exposed to the coronavirus — but now he’s backing down.

What’s the background?

The requirement to keep lists of worship service attendees was part of the reopening plan for nonessential businesses. The city’s website noted the “10/10/10 rule,” which “specifies that these businesses must limit the number of individuals on-site (inclusive of employees and customers) to no more than 10 percent of building occupancy or 10 people (whichever is larger), and record the names, contact information, and approximate entry/exit time of all customers who are on premises for more than 10 minutes.”

The website added: “In-person religious gatherings (including weddings and funerals) may resume, subject to the 10/10/10 rule (if held inside), or limited to 50 people outside, provided social distancing precautions are followed and event organizers maintain records of all attendees.”

Pushback

Last Friday, Matt Staver — founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel —
raised a stink over the list-of-names mandate:

I am running out of adjectives to describe how completely insane the tyrannical abuses launched by state governors and local officials against pastors and churches are becoming. It is as if these leaders never bothered to so much as glance at the Constitution they swore to uphold and defend. They seem to be governing from some make-believe, dystopian viewpoint. …

The Germans did this very thing to Jews – collecting the names and locations of all known synagogue attendees – in the early days of the Nazi regime.

Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined Nazi-like measures designed to surveil, track and spy upon what was once a FREE American people. Yet that is exactly what Kansas City’s misguided government officials are now demanding.

Change of heart

However, Lucas appears to have experienced a change of heart — and the
Kansas City Star reported that he signed new guidance Monday making record-keeping optional, saying merely that businesses and religious groups “should consider” the data.

Lucas’ spokeswoman, Morgan Said, told the paper that the mayor “late last week and over the weekend … felt clearer guidance expressing the voluntary nature of the requirement would be helpful, so the city could discuss the core public health needs addressed by allowing for contact tracing, rather than engaging in ad nauseum political debate.”

Here’s a clip of Lucas explaining the path forward for Kansas City’s reopening. “Must gather contact info of all attendees” can be seen on the bottom right-hand corner of the large 10/10/10 sign.

(H/T: The Christian Post)

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Churches Coronavirus COVID-19 Intelwars Kansas City Religious gatherings

City permits religious gatherings, with one exception — church must maintain ‘records of all attendees’: ‘The Germans did this very thing to Jews’

Kansas City, Missouri, is now permitting religious gatherings, but there is a catch: The church must maintain records of all attendees.

What are the details?

Churches across the city may reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and must make a comprehensive list of all attendees to remain in operation.

The city’s website states, “In-person religious gatherings (including weddings and funerals) may resume, subject to the 10/10/10 rule (if held inside), or limited to 50 people outside, provided social distancing precautions are followed and event organizers maintain records of all attendees.”

“The 10/10/10 rule specifies that these businesses must limit the number of individuals on-site (inclusive of employees and customers) to no more than 10 percent of building occupancy or 10 people (whichever is larger), and record the names, contact information, and approximate entry/exit time of all customers who are on premises for more than 10 minutes,” the city website adds.

The site noted that in recording names, area business will enable the Kansas City Health Department to “more quickly trace, test, and isolate individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 if an employee or customer had the virus at the time they frequented the business.”

Any person or organization found breaking the rules will be subject to ramifications outlined by the city’s Code of Ordinances.

What else?

According to the Western Journal, Mat Staver — the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel — is not happy with the decision.

Staver said, “I am running out of adjectives to describe how completely insane the tyrannical abuses launched by state governors and local officials against pastors and churches are becoming. It is as if these leaders never bothered to so much as glance at the Constitution they swore to uphold and defend. They seem to be governing from some make-believe, dystopian viewpoint.”

Staver added, “The Germans did this very thing to Jews — collecting the names and locations of all known synagogue attendees — in the early days of the Nazi regime.”

“Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined Nazi-like measures designed to surveil, track and spy upon what was once a FREE American people. Yet that is exactly what Kansas City’s misguided government officials are now demanding,” he added.

Staver noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing out the worst in governments, bringing new lists of “illegal and unconstitutional mandates.”

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Churches Coronavirus Coronavirus lockdown Faith Intelwars Religious services

Governments have closed churches across the US. Yet many Americans are finding their faith is stronger now, not weaker.

Limiting — or outright prohibiting — in-person religious services has become one of the most controversial moves that states have made in an attempt to slow the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly a fifth of all states still have bans on religious gatherings, while many others have put stringent restrictions on such meetings.

But there’s good news. Despite governmental heavy-handedness, Americans generally are far more likely to say that their faith has grown stronger during this time of trial rather than weaker. The numbers are even better for Christians who have been the leading voices in calling for an end to church lockdowns.

What are the numbers?

A new Pew Research study reported that 91% of adults say their congregation has closed religious services to the public, while just 3% say people are still gathering in person at their house of worship.

Even though Americans say their churches’ doors are closed, the same Pew survey revealed that among all adults, 24% have said their religious faith has become stronger, while only 2% say their faith has become weaker. Nearly half (47%) say their faith hasn’t changed much.

For Christians, the number is even more encouraging: 35% of them say their faith its stronger, with Protestants more likely (38%) than Catholics (27%) to say they’ve seen their faith strengthened during this time.

Within the Protestant group, 42% of Evangelicals say their faith is stronger, but just 22% of mainline Protestants say the same.

The faith subset where the most people are claiming a stronger faith is black Protestants, 56% of whom hold that view.

Blacks also happen to be the general-population group most likely to say (41%) their faith has grown during the pandemic. They are twice as likely as whites (20%) and a third more likely than Hispanics (30%) to say the crisis has strengthened their faith.

Further breakdown of the polling shows:

  • The older the respondent, the more likely he was to say his faith was stronger through all of this: 29% of 65+; 28% of 50-64; 22% of 30-49; and 17% of 18-29.
  • Women (30%) were more likely to than men (18%) to say their faith was stronger.
  • 29% of Republicans said their faith was strong, while 19% of Democrats said the same.

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California now will allow drive-in church services amid coronavirus shelter-in-place order, reversing course after lawsuit

California has reversed course and now is allowing drive-in church services amid coronavirus shelter-in-place orders, KMPH-TV reported.

What are the details?

The policy change came after a lawsuit from the Center for American Liberty and its request for a temporary restraining order, the station said.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and state Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded by agreeing that since cars are “technology,” drive-in church services should be allowed under the state’s shelter-in-place rule, KMPH said.

The caveat is that drive-in church service participants must continue to follow social distancing guidelines, the station said.

“The state does not get to dictate the method of worship to the faithful,” Harmeet K. Dhillon, chief executive officer for the Center for American Liberty, said in a statement at the time of the lawsuit. “If a Californian is able to go to Costco or the local marijuana shop or liquor store and buy goods in a responsible, socially distanced manner, then he or she must be allowed to practice their faith using the same precautions.”

After the policy change, Dhillon called it “heartening progress for our clients, and all Californians. But while this is a step in the right direction, it is still not enough.”

More from Dhillon:

“The state is still holding houses of worship to a different standard,” explained Dhillon. “[Attorney General William] Barr’s statement on Tuesday was clear, states cannot have two sets of restrictions — those that apply to churches and the more relaxed standards that apply to other entities. The State’s orders still do not define worship as an essential activity that permits travel in California, even while at the same time the state is now saying drive-in worship is permissible. The orders are riddled with contradictory and confusing language.”

“Even after these policy changes, houses of worship are still very limited in their permissible activities. Many of these activities provide immeasurable societal good, be it delivering food to the elderly, hosting addiction support groups, providing spiritual comfort and counseling for Californians in crisis, and so many other essential services,” explained Dhillon.

Barr last week warned state authorities that social distancing mandates do not give them the right to restrict religious organizations more than nonreligious ones.

“We intend to pursue this case until all Californians are restored the full free exercise of religion guaranteed to all Americans under the Constitution,” Dhillon added.

Anything else?

In Mississippi, a controversy over drive-in church services was resolved last week after the Democratic mayor of Greenville backed down from his executive order banning such services. Errick D. Simmons’ change of heart happened after uproar and lawsuits earlier this month after city police officers handed out $500 tickets to members of Temple Baptist Church who stayed in their vehicles with their windows up in the church parking lot to listen to their pastor’s radio sermon.

(H/T: LifeSite News)

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President Trump: Dems ‘go after Christian churches, but they don’t tend to go after mosques’; wonders if social distancing will be enforced for Ramadan

President Donald Trump accused Democrats of bias against Christians and Jews — and wondered if coronavirus social distancing policies will be enforced against Muslims during Ramadan.

“They go after Christian churches, but they don’t tend to go after mosques,” Trump said of Democrats during a news conference Saturday.

What are the details?

A reporter asked Trump about his retweet of conservative author Paul Sperry’s Twitter post, which asked, “Let’s see if authorities enforce the social-distancing orders for mosques during Ramadan (April 23-May 23) like they did churches during Easter.”

During Ramadan — a 30-day period which begins Thursday — Muslims don’t eat or drink between dawn and sunset.

Trump replied, “I would like to see that. And, you know, I just spoke with leaders and people that love mosques. They love mosques. And I’m all in favor of that. But I would say that there could be a difference. And we’ll have to see what will happen, because I’ve seen a great disparity in this country. I’ve seen a great disparity.”

The president then turned his attention to Democrats in Congress, particularly freshmen U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Rashida Tlaib (Michigan), and Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts).

“I mean, I’ve seen a very strong anti-Israel bent in Congress with Democrats,” Trump said, adding that it “was unthinkable seven or eight or 10 years ago. And now they’re into a whole different thing between Omar and AOC — I say AOC plus three; add them on. You have — I mean, the things that they say about Israel are so bad. And I — I can’t believe it.”

Omar and Tlaib both have made multiple anti-Semitic statements.

‘They go after Christian churches, but they don’t tend to go after mosques’

Then apparently turning back to Democratic governors who’ve made headlines for enforcing coronavirus stay-at-home orders prior to Easter, Trump said he would be “very interested” to see what happens over Ramadan “because they go after Christian churches, but they don’t tend to go after mosques. And I don’t want them to go after mosques, but I do want to see what their — what their bent is.”

But when a reporter asked Trump if he’s suggesting “imams wouldn’t follow social distancing,” the president said no, adding that he just had a “tremendous” phone call with imams, rabbis, and ministers.

“I am somebody that believes in faith,” Trump also said. “And it matters not what your faith is, but our politicians seem to treat different faiths very differently. And they seem to think — and I don’t know what happened with our country — but the Christian faith is treated much differently than it was. And I think it’s treated very unfairly.”

As it happens, a mosque in New York is reportedly still open for daily prayers amid the coronavirus pandemic — and Muslims are still allowed gather in the mosque’s prayer room for calls to prayer throughout the week.

CAIR blasts Trump

The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Trump’s words, saying on Sunday that he promoted a “notorious anti-Muslim bigot’s tweet questioning whether U.S. mosques will be treated differently during the upcoming month of Ramadan than churches were treated during Easter amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.”

CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a statement that Trump’s “bigoted attempt to use American Muslims as a political football just before the holy month of Ramadan was as divisive as it was insulting. Mosques across our nation have already announced plans to remain closed indefinitely because the American Muslim community, unlike President Trump, recognizes the ongoing threat of the coronavirus.”

Awad added that the president’s “claim that American mosques — many of which have been protested, threatened, vandalized and even bombed in the years since he launched his first presidential campaign — receive preferential treatment compared to other faiths is an Islamophobic fantasy. Instead of fanning the flames of bigotry to distract the public from his own failures, the President should focus on combating the continued spread of the coronavirus.”

Here’s a clip of Trump’s news conference via CAIRtv, which called them “incoherent”:


Trump Gives Incoherent Response to Question About Retweet of Islamophobe’s Comment on U.S. Mosques

youtu.be

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New York mosque still open for daily prayers while churches across the country face mandatory shutdowns

A mosque in New York is reportedly still open for daily prayers amid the coronavirus pandemic that has forced Christian churches across the country to close their doors and cancel their in-person gatherings.

While churchgoers in many states have been criticized and even punished for continuing to gather, that same level of scrutiny has apparently not been leveled at the Mosque of Jesus, Son of Mary in Syracuse, New York.

What are the details?

Despite the state’s executive order, which broadly bans all “non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason,” neighborhood Muslims are still allowed gather together in the mosque’s prayer room for calls to prayer throughout the week.

“About 10 worshippers in masks are allowed in at a time, though rarely do that many show up. They stand far apart from each other as they follow a prayer leader standing on a plastic-covered prayer rug,” a Syracuse.com report notes. (Though in a video of one of the prayers, it appears that the worshippers are not at least 6 feet away, as the Centers for Disease Control recommends).

While it should be noted that the mosque has gone to great lengths to limit attendees’ exposure to the virus by covering the prayer room in plastic and installing a special ventilation system, it is unclear as to how that exempts the mosque from the government mandate.

Yet instead of facing criticism for continuing to gather, the mosque was commended by the news outlet for its efforts to “keep the faith” during the pandemic, especially as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches.


Syracuse mosque aims to protect worshippers against coronavirus

youtu.be

According to the report, Irfan Elahi, an asbestos abatement expert who worships at the mosque, said that when the outbreak started, mosque leaders in the area were worried that Muslims would panic if daily prayers were cancelled.

What’s the background?

Over the past few weeks, churchgoers in many states have been prohibited from gathering and, in many cases, have been punished for doing so despite government orders.

In Mississippi, some churchgoers received $500 fines for sitting in their vehicles in a church parking lot listening to a radio broadcast of the service. In Kentucky, nails were allegedly scattered at the parking lot entrances to prevent people from attending the Easter service. A northern California county even outlawed singing during church livestreams unless people are in a home.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to “permanently” shut down churches and synagogues if they refused to comply with the government’s shelter-in-place order.

New York state, where the mosque is located, has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak, with over 130,000 confirmed cases and more than 14,000 deaths reported as of Monday, according to the New York Times.

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Churches ordered ‘no singing’ during livestream services unless they’re in homes, California county COVID-19 restrictions say

A northern California county issued revised shelter-in-place orders on Good Friday that outlaw singing during livestream church services unless the services take place in residences.

What are the details?

The specifics within Mendocino County’s 13-page document are found on page 8 under “Minimum Basic Operations” for “venues, such as concert halls, auditoriums, churches, temples, and playhouses, to enable a recorded and/or live-streamed event to be shared virtually with the public” — and then come the “limitations.”

First off, the order states that “only four individuals may be present for the live event. All others must participate remotely,” the document states.

Secondly, “Social Distancing Requirements must be maintained, include maintaining at least six feet of physical distancing from other individuals (physical distancing not required for members of the same household), frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer that is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as effective in combatting COVID-19, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, not shaking hands, and, for those who are not on camera, to wear facial coverings as much as possible,” the document notes.

‘No singing or use of wind instruments’

And then the powers that be get into specific activities not allowed during livestream events: “No singing or use of wind instruments, harmonicas, or other instruments that could spread COVID-19 through projected droplets shall be permitted unless the recording of the event is done at one’s residence, and involving only the members of one’s household or living unit, because of the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19.”

Anything else?

The order is in effect until May 10 and “violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both,” the document reads.

How are folks reacting?

Twitter users who got wind of the county’s restrictions were none too pleased:

  • “No singing allowed?? This is insane!”
  • “How much more of this are we willing to accept?”
  • “This is a new low.”
  • “Our religious freedom IS at stake.”
  • “This should sadden us, but as Christians it certainly should not surprise us.”
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Largest county in the US threatens churchgoers with $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail

San Bernardino County, the largest county in the United States, drastically increased public restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic in an order issued on Tuesday.

The order prohibited public church and other faith-based services, banned “driving parades” that have become popular online, and threatened violators with a $1,000 fine and possible jail time.

The order also formally commanded residents to wear face coverings in public areas.

“In an effort to protect the public from further spread of COVID-19, the County’s Acting Health Officer has formally ordered everyone in San Bernardino County to wear a face covering when leaving home,” the statement read.

The order recommended that families have their own Easter egg hunts at home.

“Tuesday’s order also says faith-based services must be electronic only through streaming or online technology. People may not leave their homes for driving parades or drive-up services or to pick up non-essential items such as pre-packaged Easter eggs or bags filled with candy and toys at a drive-thru location,” the order continued.

The order said in addition to a $1,000 fine, violators may also face up to 90 days in jail.

San Bernardino County is the largest county in the U.S. by area, and the fifth largest in California by population, with more than 2 million residents. It lies east of Los Angeles and stretches out to the border with Arizona across the Mojave Desert.

The county reported 530 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and 16 deaths. The order goes into effect at midnight on Tuesday.

Here’s a local news report about coronavirus in southern California:


The Latest: Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Jump Throughout Southern California

www.youtube.com

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Pastor vows to continue church services amid COVID-19 emergency. Landlord makes sure that won’t happen, changes building’s locks and calls police.

A California landlord has changed the locks on his church building after its pastor vowed to continue church services amid COVID-19 lockdowns.

What are the details?

The Lodi, California, pastor insisted that he and his congregation would continue to meet on a weekly basis despite the state’s strict stay-at-home order handed down by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).

On Sunday, however, Pastor Jon Duncan of Cross Culture Christian Center said that when he arrived at the church, the locks had been changed and there was a police presence waiting for any parishioners who tried to defy the state order by entering the building.

Duncan said, “We were advised that the building has been closed down to us, that the locks have been changed.”

Lodi Police Lt. Michael Manetti added that the church’s landlord changed the locks after receiving a warning from San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Maggie Park.

“We understand people’s desire to practice their faith,” he said. “But at church, generally people are closer to one another … shaking hands and singing.”

Jeremy Duncan, the pastor’s brother, said that he’s not happy with the decision to close the church.

“I’m not thrilled in general with the restriction on religious liberties, definitely during what is Christians’ most holy week,” he said.

Jackie Hero, one of the church’s parishioners, added, “I really believe this is something we need to do — to congregate.”

What else?

Dean R. Broyles, an attorney retained by Cross Culture Christian Center, said that the church’s decision to block worshippers from coming to the building is illegal.

“The landlord did not inform my client that they were going to lock them out of the premises,” Broyles said. “They don’t have the right to do that unless they go to an eviction procedure, and the governor has a moratorium on evictions right now. … We view locking them out as a breach of the lease and a violation of the law.”

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