Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect a correction made by Liberty Counsel to its article.
A Kansas City phased reopening guideline requiring churches to keep “lists” of attendees, has alarmed many who see it as an infringement on religious liberty and privacy.
In the policy issued by Mayor Quinton Lucas, houses of worship are treated with the same restrictions as “non-essential” businesses in terms of keeping records of who attends a service, or even anyone who enters the building.
“Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined Nazi-like measures designed to surveil, track and spy upon what was once a FREE American people,” Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said. “Yet that is exactly what Kansas City’s misguided government officials are now demanding.”
Liberty Counsel, a law firm that handles religious liberty cases, tells the Todd Starnes Radio Show that they are representing several churches that allege their constitutional rights are being violated.
“I am running out of adjectives to describe how completely insane the tyrannical abuses launched by state governors and local officials against pastors and churches are becoming,” Staver said in a statement. “It is as if these leaders never bothered to so much as glance at the Constitution they swore to uphold and defend. They seem to be governing from some make-believe, dystopian viewpoint.”
The new policy states “In-person religious gatherings (including weddings and funerals) may resume, subject to the 10/10/10 rule (if held inside) or limited to 50 people outside, provided social distancing precautions are followed and event organizers maintain records of all attendees.”
But it is not the limit on people that has drawn the most concern, but the record-keeping. The new rule requires all churches to “record the names, contact information, and approximate entry/exit time of all customers who are on-premises for more than 10 minutes.”
On Wednesday, the article was corrected to remove references to membership lists being requested.
The article also states the record-keeping being asked of churches is among multiple “illegal and unconstitutional mandates” from state and local politicians regarding churches and the coronavirus.
Mat Staver, the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told USA TODAY that the organization was initially contacted by concerned pastors. The requirement presents religious liberty and free speech concerns, he said, because it requires people to identify themselves and list contact information while attending a church, which could dissuade visitors.
It’s good that thing like this doesn’t happen in America because in Communist countries this happens a lot.
Throughout the history of the Soviet Union (1917–1991), there were periods when Soviet authorities brutally suppressed and persecuted various forms of Christianity to different extents depending on State interests. Soviet Marxist-Leninist policy consistently advocated for the control, suppression, and ultimately, the elimination of religious beliefs, and it actively encouraged the propagation of Marxist-Leninist atheism in the Soviet Union. However, most religions were never officially outlawed.
The state advocated the destruction of religion, and to achieve this goal, it officially denounced religious beliefs as superstitious and backward. The Communist Party destroyed churches, synagogues, and mosques, ridiculed, harassed, incarcerated and executed religious leaders, flooded the schools and media with anti-religious teachings, and it introduced a belief system called “scientific atheism,” with its own rituals, promises and proselytizers. According to some sources, the total number of Christian victims under the Soviet regime has been estimated to range around 12 to 20 million.
China has the world’s greatest irreligious population, and the Chinese government and Communist Party is officially atheist. Despite limitations on certain forms of religious expression and assembly, religion is not banned, and religious freedom is nominally protected under the Chinese constitution.
Churches are also protected under our constitution too, but with the lates totalitarian changes it seems our constitution is no longer respected.
Alex D is a conservative journalist, who covers all issues of importance for conservatives. He writes for Supreme Insider, Red State Nation, Defiant America, and Right Journalism. He brings attention and insight from what happens in the White House to the streets of American towns, because it all has an impact on our future, and the country left for our children. Exposing the truth is his ultimate goal, mixed with wit where it’s appropriate, and feels that journalism shouldn’t be censored. Join him & let’s spread the good word!