Originally published in redstate.com
Since the time various shutdowns, stay-at-home orders, et cetera, were enacted to “slow the spread” of Covid-19, the list of businesses and activities considered “essential” has been illogical at best. In California, marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores have remained open, while gyms and churches have been shut down.
Multiple churches in California have sued over the shutdown order and their “nonessential” designation, arguing that shutting down churches violates the First Amendment. Others have continued to hold indoor services despite the shutdown order, including Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Ventura County, led by Pastor Rob McCoy – who stepped down from his post as a member of the Thousand Oaks City Council before defying the health officer’s order back in April.
For the people in the back, here’s what the First Amendment says:
Congress 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.
Strip club owners in the state have also challenged the shutdown order in court, saying that their businesses are “legally protected speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.” On November 12, a San Diego Superior Court judge ordered that county to temporarily reopen strip clubs, pending a full hearing at the end of the month, after an initial hearing in a case brought by two strip club owners.
Since being able to provide live adult entertainment is a protected right in at least one county, for at least a few weeks, might churches be able to use this ruling to their advantage?
Pastor McCoy, inspired by former Gov. Mike Huckabee, decided to take a chance. When he opened Sunday’s service, he chuckled and said, “I want you to know, what’s about to transpire is Gov. Mike Huckabee’s fault.” He set the scene by playing a clip from Hannity in which Gov. Huckabee said a church could announce that their pastor would remove his tie during the sermon, and since he was taking off an article of clothing, that would make the church a temporary strip club and therefore it would be legal for the parishioners to attend services.
And then, McCoy took it further. He actually danced to striptease music, and not only did he take his tie off, he threw it into the audience – in which some members were holding up dollar bills for their multi-talented pastor.
After a few good laughs, McCoy’s message focused on the increased persecution churches face during the pandemic shutdowns and the tyrannical rule being embraced by so many on both sides of the aisle.