Michigan governor admits state can’t force churches to close doors during lockdown

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Democrats who understand freedom and limited government are about as easy to find as hen’s teeth, so Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer needs to be applauded.

Unlike her party colleagues and many Republicans as well, the Democratic governor said that people’s attendance at church during the coronavirus outbreak is not something she has the authority to dictate, according to The Hill.

Whitmer on March 22 said she has exempted religious services from a statewide ban on gatherings of 50 or more people at the behest of the Republican legislature. She did say she strongly discouraged such gatherings, which is entirely appropriate for the governor of a U.S. state. “We’re discouraging people from gathering at all,” Whitmer said on Fox News Sunday.

As for banning gatherings, however, “That’s an area we don’t have the ability to directly enforce and control.” Whitmer cited the separation of church and state.

Guest host John Roberts asked Whitmer about the “Big Three” automakers shutting down amid the outbreak and whether the auto industry requires federal funds.

“I applaud the big three working with the UAW [United Autoworkers] in making that decision but at the end of the day we’ve got to make sure we can still be competitive,” Whitmer responded.

Roberts also asked Whitmer about being referred to by President Trump as “failing Michigan governor” on Twitter last week. Whitmer soft-pedaled:

“I think the irony of the attack on Twitter is we’ve already been much more aggressive than the federal government,” Whitmer responded. “We have to have truth in communication, we have to be making decisions based on science and facts. We can’t have half-truths and hyperbole … convincing people this isn’t to be taken seriously.”


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