VIDEO A Message of Defining Clarity from Jim Caviezel, When Freedom and Liberty are Threatened

December 18, 2020 by Sundance

On February 28, 2018, at Convocation, North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students, director, and actor Jim Caviezel shared in convocation how through the Passion of the Christ, and Paul: Apostle of Christ, he wants people to meet Jesus.

Within the session Mr. Caviezel took a moment to share his perspectives on the political challenges we face as a nation.  Remembering back to President Ronald Reagan Caviezel had some thoughts for the audience that ring a particular resonance today: “Set yourselves apart from this corrupt generation”….

Prompted to 24:08 just hit play:

Borrowing from Mike Vanderboegh – “This is no small thing, to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. I have studied history for years and I cannot recall it ever happening. It may be that our task is impossible. Yet, if we do not try then how will we know it can’t be done? And if we do not try, it most certainly won’t be done. The Founders’ Republic, and the larger war for western civilization, will be lost.

But I tell you this: We will not go gently into that bloody collectivist good night. Indeed, we will make with our defiance such a sound as ALL history from that day forward will be forced to note, even if they despise us in the writing of it.

And when we are gone, the scattered, free survivors hiding in the ruins of our once-great republic will sing of our deeds in forbidden songs, tending the flickering flame of individual liberty until it bursts forth again, as it must, generations later. We will live forever, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, in sacred memory.”

DOJ Files Statement of Interest in Mississippi Case of Religious Discrimination by Govt. Ministry of Coronavirus Compliance…

April 14, 2020 by sundance

From the press release this is an interesting, and oddly colloquial, way for the United States Dept of Justice under AG Bill Barr to define the first amendment.

…”Social distancing, while difficult and unfamiliar for a nation that has long prided itself on the strength of its voluntary associations, has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of American lives from an imminent threat.”…

I never quite thought about the first amendment as being so casual.  Let’s all attend our ‘voluntary associations’ on Sunday.  Alrighty then… Though, well, I do wonder what an involuntary association would be. I digress; I’m being petty.

[DOJ] “Today, the Department filed a Statement of Interest in support of a church in Mississippi that allegedly sought to hold parking lot worship services, in which congregants listened to their pastor preach over their car radios, while sitting in their cars in the church parking lot with their windows rolled up. 

The City of Greenville fined congregants $500 per person for attending these parking lot services – while permitting citizens to attend nearby drive-in restaurants, even with their windows open.[1]  The City appears to have thereby singled churches out as the only essential service (as designated by the state of Mississippi) that may not operate despite following all CDC and state recommendations regarding social distancing.

As we explain in the Statement of Interest, where a state has not acted evenhandedly, it must have a compelling reason to impose restrictions on places of worship and must ensure that those restrictions are narrowly tailored to advance its compelling interest.  While we believe that during this period there is a sufficient basis for the social distancing rules that have been put in place, the scope and justification of restrictions beyond that will have to be assessed based on the circumstances as they evolve.

Religion and religious worship continue to be central to the lives of millions of Americans.  This is true more so than ever during this difficult time.  The pandemic has changed the ways Americans live their lives.  Religious communities have rallied to the critical need to protect the community from the spread of this disease by making services available online and in ways that otherwise comply with social distancing guidelines. 

The United States Department of Justice will continue to ensure that religious freedom remains protected if any state or local government, in their response to COVID-19, singles out, targets, or discriminates against any house of worship for special restrictions.”  (LINK)

DOJ Files Statement of Interest in Mississippi Case of Religious Discrimination by Govt. Ministry of Coronavirus Compliance…


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

March 30, 2020 by sundance

 

“[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….

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