In the latest war between religious freedom and overzealous pandemic restrictions, the Democrats in charge of New Mexico have fined two megachurches $10,000 each for holding large Christmas Eve services in violation of the state’s coronavirus lockdown orders. The fines, which seem tailor-made to make an example out of New Mexico Christians who wanted to worship in peace on the eve of the most important day on the Christian calendar, were accompanied by brutal denunciations by politicians like Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who labeled the church pastors “pro-virus.”
Hit by the fines are Legacy Church and Cavalry Church in Albuquerque, both of which attracted attention when photos and videos of their services hit social media. Democrats were aghast at the images of congregants worshipping in the pews, many of them without masks. These images resulted in immediate action from the Public Health Department, which levied a $10,000 fine against both churches – half for violating capacity limits and half for violating the state mask mandate.
“In violating both the state public health order and common sense, these two churches and their leaders endangered the lives, livelihoods and health of not only their parishioners but their entire communities — and, given how quickly this virus can spread, potentially our state as a whole,” Grisham told NBC News.
“We all wish this pandemic were over, but it’s not, and no pro-virus pastor may deem it so,” she continued. “So many New Mexicans have sacrificed — and lost — so much in this pandemic. These illegal and selfish gatherings will directly contribute to more suffering and illness in our state. These church leaders should reflect on the danger they’ve unleashed in their communities.”
Officials with the churches in question, however, say that the governor is discounting their efforts to curb the spread of the virus while also exceeding her authority.
“We have taken the pandemic seriously from the start, and have prudent measures in place. But when governments exceed their constitutional authority and contradict what we are called on by God to do, we answer first to His authority,” said Legacy Church in a statement. “It’s tragic that what we do for thousands of shut-ins, those in despair, and kids who go without meals gets no state notice, but fixation on one service can net us large fines. The state should fold its losing hand against Churches as Colorado has, focus on the truly vulnerable, and recognize what the US Supreme Court has recently said about Churches because we must continue to do what we are called to.”
Fact is, Democrats like Grisham have had not ONE WORD to say about Black Lives Matter protests and other gatherings that support leftist causes. That alone tells you everything you need to know about the political motivations behind these fines.