This story unfolded in Dundalk, a Baltimore suburb. Pastor Stacey Shiflett found himself in the headlines for all of the wrong reasons. When he received a cease and desist letter from the government, he did not listen. Instead, he stood at the lectern and tore it up. He wanted everyone who was at Calvary Baptist Church that day to see his defiance.
If Wal-Mart can be open, the church can be open. That’s how the pastor feels and he’s got plenty of people standing behind. America’s religious right are tired of the persecution. He is making sure that his flock is staying out of harm’s way, though. Temperature checks take place before anyone can come inside and the proper social distancing measures are adhered to.
The government was not about to take this laying down. They came for the pastor as soon as it became obvious that he was not going to listen to their orders. Fortunately for the pastor, a Maryland Congressman has decided to intervene. He wants the fine rescinded by Tuesday or there are going to be problems.
At long last, someone is willing to stand up for those who are simply looking to worship in peace. The Department of Justice is being asked to investigate the matter and we cannot wait to hear more about their findings. Republican Congressman Andy Harris is on the case and he has been very vocal when it comes to his feelings about the way that this poor pastor was treated by his own government.
The Department of Justice investigation can be avoided if the fine is rescinded and the line in the sand has been drawn. The county has made their orders but the pastor is not going to budge. We are sure that this will not be the only case of its type around the country. Churches are being told to stay closed while stores and restaurants open their doors to anyone who wants to come.
What type of message does that send to the true believers out there? They are being told that they need to stay home but if they wanted to go to Wal-Mart and spend some money? That would be A-OK. In our humble opinion, a trip to a superstore is probably much more dangerous than a trip to church but don’t tell our government that. They are too busy attacking pastors for trying to spread the Good Word.
We are not sure what the Department of Justice would be able to do in this situation but we definitely want to find out. As more and more churches are unfairly being told to keep their doors closed, cases like these will only become more common. The federal government is not going to have an easy time when it comes time to do battle with local governments that have already put their own rules into place, though.
Unfortunately, this is a side effect of allowing states to handle the pandemic on their own. President Trump wanted to empower each state to make their own decisions, so that there were no wide ranging federal regulations. Can you imagine how angry Americans would have been if Trump had issued federal guidelines that everyone had to follow? Perhaps allowing the state governments to take the lead was for the best.
The hypocrisy that is being placed on full display here cannot be ignored any longer, guidelines or no guidelines. The protesters have been filling the Baltimore streets for weeks. No one seems too concerned with them. Meanwhile, religious worshipers are being as if they are common criminals.
Somethings needs to be done and it needs to be done now. Kudos to this Congressman for being willing to stand beside the Christian community. They are finding it hard to locate anyone who still has their backs anymore. That’s just the America that we are living in these days, we suppose. Perhaps a church based riot will get their attention? Food for thought…