Biblical and Constitutional Politics

November 2020 Commentaries

By Gary F. Zeolla

These commentaries are continued from September 2020 Commentaries.

This page contains non-Coronavirus commentaries.
For my commentaries about the Coronavirus crisis, Coronavirus Articles and Commentaries.

 


Importance of Amy Comey Barrett

 

      In the forthcoming Volume Three of my Impeach trilogy, I discuss the nomination and confirmation of Amy Comey Barrett to the Supreme Court. The importance of that confirmation was already seen on Thanksgiving eve, November 25, 2020.

 

      As coronavirus cases surge again nationwide, the Supreme Court late Wednesday barred New York from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues in areas designated as hard hit by the virus.

      The justices split 5-4 with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. It was the conservative’s first publicly discernible vote as a justice. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented.

      The move was a shift for the court. Earlier this year, when Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was still on the court, the justices divided 5-4 to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada (Trib. AP. High).

 

      In an unsigned opinion the court said the restrictions “single out houses of worship for especially harsh treatment.”

      “Members of this Court are not public health experts, and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten. The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty,” the opinion said (Newsmax. High).

 

      “Not only is there no evidence that the applicants have contributed to the spread of COVID-19 but there are many other less restrictive rules that could be adopted to minimize the risk to those attending religious services,” the Court held (CNN. Supreme).

 

      This victory for religious freedom was directly the result of Donald J. Trump keeping his promise and nominating conservative or originalist Justices to the Supreme Court, and then the Republican-controlled Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, confirming those nominees.

      This decision opens the door to many more such conservative rulings in the future, such as on abortion, LGBTQ “rights,” gun rights, and many more.

      If Hillary Clinton had won in 2016, this decision would not have gone this way. If McConnell had given in to the pressure by the Dems and the media and had not confirmed Amy Comey Barrett, this decision would not have gone this way. And if Republicans lose the Senate after the Georgia runoff races, the then President Biden will nominate liberal Justices, and rulings like this one will be overturned.

      What this means is, if you are a Christian and you did not vote for Donald Trump in 2016 or now in 2020, you voted against religious liberty. You voted against your church being open.

      As time goes by, it will be seen you voted to have abortion-on-demand remain the law of the land, you voted to allow men who “identify” as women to compete in and thus destroy women’s sports, you voted for churches to be forced to ordain homosexuals and to conduct wedding ceremonies for homosexuals, you voted to have your guns taken away, and on it goes.

      On almost all ethical and liberty issues, having a conservative court versus a liberal court changes everything. That is why the election of Joe Biden is so tragic, and why the forthcoming runoff races in Georgia are so important. The Senate must remain in Republican control, or Joe Biden will pack the court with leftist Justices, and a Dem-controlled Senate will confirm them, and we will be looking at a very different America.

      All that said, note the last quote. All of this is not to say churches should meet without giving credence to the pandemic. It is just that shutting down a church or severely limiting its capacity more than for secular institutions defies the First Amendment. But it is vital for churches to meet, while making allowances for the virus. I discuss that point at length in an article titled Churches are Essential posted on my Christian website.

 

References:

      CNN. In a 5-4 ruling, Supreme Court sides with religious groups in a dispute over Covid-19 restrictions in New York.

      Newsmax. US Supreme Court Blocks Cuomo's NY Coronavirus Limits on Houses of Worship.

      Trib Live/ AP. High court blocks N.Y. coronavirus limits on houses of worship.


 

These commentaries are continued at: January 21 Commentaries.

November 2020 Commentaries. Copyright 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above commentaries were posted in November 2020.

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