Indiana Legislature OKs religious activities as essential

The Indiana Senate approved a bill Thursday that designates religious activities as essential services and prohibits any restrictions on them during a declared emergency.

The measure, which heads to the governor, would prohibit state and local orders from restricting anyone’s ability to attend religious services during disaster emergencies. The legislation also bars state and local orders from being more restrictive on churches than on other businesses considered to be essential.

Houses of worship would be allowed to hold services without regard to capacity size, social distancing or mask mandates, for example. However, restrictions could apply to their schools or daycares.

“I hope it’s another 500 years before we ever have another disaster … like what our state and nation have experienced this last year,” Sen. Eric Koch, R-Bedford, said. “But should that arise, this should protect that very enshrined right in our Constitution.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb prohibited in-person worship services early in the pandemic. Republican legislative leaders praise Holcomb’s leadership during the pandemic, but the governor has faced conservative discontent over the more than 60 coronavirus-related executive orders he’s issued, beginning with the public health emergency order signed last March 6 — the day Indiana’s first confirmed COVID-19 infection was announced.

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6 thoughts on “Indiana Legislature OKs religious activities as essential

  1. You gotta be kidding!! Cannot people pray anytime, anywhere….it doesn’t have to a place of worship? If that places church above state then all churches, synagogues, mosques should pay property and income taxes!
    Absurd!

  2. “ The legislation also bars state and local orders from being more restrictive on churches than on other businesses considered to be essential.

    Houses of worship would be allowed to hold services without regard to capacity size, social distancing or mask mandates, for example.”

    This is a contradictory statement, even grocery stores have had capacity limits. This is a terrible bill and indicative of the rot of the GOP.

    1. I’ve watched the church I’ve attended for the last 20 years for 50 of the last 55 weekends.

  3. Did any of these guys ever read any of the stories about the religious cult in South Korea that become the core of almost all of the spread of COVID early on in that country.

    Do you really want religious groups to endanger the well being of all Indiana citizens.

    With that attitude, child sacrifice in the name of religion should be OK with these idiot Republicans.

    Again, it helps if you are operating on a factual and scientific basis. Opps, sorry I forgot these are Republican lawmakers.

    1. Don’t forget the choir practice in Washington state that was a super spreader event.

      Strong words from Rick Warren:

      “COVID revealed a fundamental weakness in the Church. Most churches only have one purpose: worship. And if you take worship away, you’ve got nothing. They’re in a hurry to get back to worship because that’s all they’ve got.”

      “Q: But a lot of churches are nervous about the religious freedom aspect. They don’t want to wear masks. They don’t want to meet outdoors. They’re worried about religious discrimination.

      Rick Warren: They might have a discrimination case if theaters weren’t closed, football games weren’t closed, concerts weren’t happening. But they are. We’re not being discriminated against. This is a safety issue. Regal Cinemas closed down 650 theaters. Disney laid off 28,000 people. We’re not being discriminated against.

      Some churches are willing to gamble the health of their people. I’m not. The good shepherd prays for his sheep, cares for his sheep. One day I will be responsible. I don’t want to be a super-spreader. I’m not doing this out of fear; I’m doing this out of love. You wear a mask for love your neighbors, yourself.”

      https://www.relevantmagazine.com/faith/church/rick-warren-on-the-year-we-had/

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