Governors and mayors across the nation have claimed that their emergency powers allow them to ban large groups during the coronavirus pandemic. They don’t want groups gathering in malls, movie theaters or even churches, despite the constitutional protection of religious rights.
Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver noted Kansas City is requiring that churches “submit list of members and attendees along with their names, addresses and telephone numbers to city officials for tracking and surveillance purposes.”
“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,” he said in his newsletter. “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.”
He said the order also applies to businesses, but that doesn’t make it any more constitutional.
“The new order states that by recording names and contact information, the health department will be able ‘to more quickly trace, test, and isolate individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19,'” he explains.
“The Germans did this very thing to Jews – collecting the names and locations of all known synagogue attendees – in the early days of the Nazi regime,” he points out.
A WND message left with the office of the mayor did not generate a response.
Online, the city makes clear its “10/10/10” plan.
“Businesses” are allowed to reopen with 10% of their occupancy or a maximum of 10 people. And and they must “take down contact information for anyone in their building more than 10 minutes in order to conduct contact tracing if there were an outbreak.”
“Religious gatherings” are allowed under the same restrictions. The city specifically states it wants to “quickly trace, test, and isolate individuals.”
Staver told WND the requirements will make people not want to go to church.
That’s because 10 days later, they could “get a phone call that someone in that vicinity may have COVID-19. Then they get summoned to quarantine,” he said.
That requirement chills constitutional rights to free speech, religion and assembly.
Further, he warned it’s just the low-tech version of what several states are trying to do. Some plan to utilize smartphone technology to monitor people who test positive.
Anyone who, through Bluetooth, is identified as having been in proximity to an infected person would be contacted by the government and could be ordered quarantined.
Staver has received complaints from several churches in Kansas City and is awaiting word on whether his organization should take action.
“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. Yet that is exactly what Kansas City’s misguided government officials are now demanding,” he said in his newsletter.