NYC churches that hold services during coronavirus could be permanently closed

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, discusses the arrival of a shipment of 400 ventilators with Dr. Steven Pulitzer, the Chief Medical Officer of NYC Health and Hospitals, at the city's Emergency Management Warehouse., Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The coronavirus outbreak is proving to be a bonanza for leftists: Not only is it severely harming the Trump economic boom and hobbling the United States, it is now giving mayors and governors grounds to shut down church services.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told his city’s religious community last week that fines and permanent closures may result if they refuse to shut down in-person worship services during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Washington Times.

Mr. de Blasio set himself up for some legal battles last week while addressing the health crisis.

“The NYPD, fire department, buildings department — everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse,” he said. “If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”

When to the billy clubs, helmets and tear gas come out?

The comments drew outrage on social media and quickly spread to conservative websites.

“I don’t care how bad the Wuhan virus gets, there’s no legal authority for government officials to permanently shut down worship services,” Red State writer “Bonchie” replied over the weekend. “None at all. They can make requests and set guidelines, but it’s a gross violation of the Constitution to shut down the use of private property for religious services. There are some things that are more important than short term measures to fight a health crisis and religious freedom is one of those things.”


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