Despite health risks for some, citizens across nation demand to work, worship.
By John Friend
Americans are uniting in outrage over the increasingly nonsensical and tyrannical lockdown orders implemented by various state and local governments across the nation in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
So-called “non-essential” businesses, schools, universities, religious organizations, and other private institutions across the country have in various forms been ordered to close their doors for normal business as a result of the lockdown orders, a policy originally designed to prevent the rapid transmission of the coronavirus and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed by patients.
Over the course of the past two months, it has become clear that most people who contract the virus are asymptomatic or suffer minor or mild flu-like symptoms, and quickly recover. Older Americans and those with pre-existing health problems, however, can be severely impacted by the virus. A new mystery illness, described as a variant of Kawasaki’s disease, is of concern for younger people. But, thus far, hospitals and the healthcare system more broadly have not been overwhelmed by patients, and many of the models and predictions originally used by medical professionals have proven to be entirely overblown and exaggerated.
Many states have slowly started to re-open in recent weeks. Yet many protesters view the government’s response to the pandemic as an unconstitutional power grab, with potentially long-lasting and perhaps irreversible repercussions.
Over Memorial Day weekend, Texans rallied at the Texas State Capitol in Austin to demand a complete end to Gov. Greg Abbott’s economic and social restrictions, which many have insisted are unconstitutional in the first place.
The rally, dubbed “Don’t Mess With Texas,” was organized by the Texas Freedom Coalition, and featured speakers calling for the full opening of the state’s economy, schools, and other private organizations, including houses of worship. Speakers included Shelley Luther, the Dallas-based hair salon owner who was arrested and briefly jailed for opening her business in defiance of the governor’s stringent orders weeks ago.
“Saturday’s rally is meant to give Texans a platform to stand up to the government overreach that is changing the fabric of the state of Texas forever,” Christin Bentley, the co-founder and director of the Texas Freedom Coalition, told KXAN, a local NBC affiliate in Texas that covered the rally.
Other rallies and protests have been taking place across the country for weeks now. Concerns over the devastating economic impacts of the lockdown and the constitutional issues surrounding the executive orders have driven many to take to the streets. Others are outraged over the prospect of mandatory vaccination, the implementation of contact tracing and other surveillance programs in jurisdictions around the country, and other strict measures ostensibly designed to combat the spread of the virus. Still others point to the blatant inconsistencies and hypocrisy on display, with public officials who have implemented the various stay-at-home orders violating their own edicts.
In California, which was the first state to implement lockdown orders, a lawyer representing 1,200 pastors in the state announced his clients have signed a “declaration of essentiality” and are making plans to reopen their houses of worship on May 31. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has insisted churches and other religious organizations could re-open in several weeks, but many are intent on openly resisting the governor’s orders.
“This letter was not sent for the purposes of asking for permission,” attorney Robert Tyler explained to the Associated Press, demonstrating the seriousness that the pastors he represents take with regard to their constitutional rights to practice their faith freely. The head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division also sent a letter to Gov. Newsom stating that his stay-at-home orders discriminate against churches and other houses of worship, increasing the pressure on the radical left-wing governor to allow religious services to proceed.
In Kentucky, a coalition of preachers, Second Amendment and gun rights advocates, and other patriot groups gathered last weekend at the state capitol in Frankfort to celebrate their constitutional rights and protest Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s coronavirus restriction policies.
“This has been one of the biggest shams in world history,” Pastor Cliff Christman explained to reporters, reflecting the view of many in attendance. “Grown men have been hiding in (their) homes nearly wetting their pants over this invisible enemy that nobody sees. Where is it at? Let it come out and face us. I serve the one true and living God who conquers all enemies. Why should we give up our freedom and our liberties for such fear [and] propaganda and all the garbage that is coming out of Frankfort today?”
As the spring fades and summer approaches, more and more Americans of all political stripes are voicing their righteous indignation at government overreach masquerading as public health policy. Americans are ready to get back to work, get back to their churches, and get on with their lives, despite the risks. The hysteria from the political establishment, medical experts, and dishonest mass media appears to be lost on deaf ears as the American public has largely rejected the divisive fearmongering on display across the country.
John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.