Calif. pastor faces ‘contempt of court’ charges after county agents spy on church

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Rob McCoy, pastor of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California, and Councilman for Thousand Oaks.

Separation of church and state?

How about the state spying on churches for hours at a time, from a surveillance car, and demanding the closure of a church because of people talking, hugging and shaking hands?

That’s what is happening in Ventura County, Calif., with a pastor even being held in contempt of court.

Pastor Rob McCoy of Godspeak Calvary Chapel Church violated a restraining order that barred him from holding an indoor worship service, county authorities said. He was to appear before a judge on Aug. 14.

Ventura County officials also asked Judge Vincent O’Neill to authorize the sheriff’s department to close the church property, but the judge denied their request.

McCoy has stated that neither the state or county may prohibit indoor worship services based on fear of COVID-19.

Incredibly, Ventura County admitted they had sent several agents to the church property on Aug. 9 to spy on “forbidden” activities there. The church’s lawyers said two county officials signed declarations stating they performed surveillance from their car in the parking lot for approximately six and a half hours.

A Senior Code Compliance officer listed the crimes of church members: “Throughout my time observing the people in the parking lot and sidewalk areas on the Property, I saw no obvious attempts at social distancing and behavior and comments overheard suggested that many were friends, rather than household members. Many people were seen hugging and shaking hands, and standing in close groups talking together for extended periods of time.”

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