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Apr 11 2020

Greenville, Mississippi Cracks Down on Drive-in Church Services

When they crack down on religious services in the name of flattening the curve, is it really about COVID-19? Or is cracking down on Christian services during Holy Week about something else — something that was around long before the Wuhan coronavirus and that will still be with us after the virus is finally gone? Stories like this one from Greenville, Mississippi make you wonder:

The parking lot of the church was full Wednesday night with members of the [Temple Baptist Church] who gathered in parked vehicles to listen to Pastor Arthur Scott’s sermon broadcast on a low-power FM frequency radio.

The church, according to member Lee Gordon, has been using the radio broadcast for the last three weeks as part of the social-distancing recommendations from federal, state and local governments during the COVID-19, coronavirus epidemic.

On April 3, Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons issued an executive order that First Amendment be damned, church services are now banned — including drive-in church services. As the Temple Baptist Church learned, this includes congregants gathering in the parking lot without getting out of their cars or even rolling down their windows.

Services are also streamed over the Internet, but the congregation is largely elderly and not Internet-enabled. Also, you don’t get much sense of community from watching an online sermon alone in your home. Even people sealed off from each other in their respective cars are an improvement.

The police asked everyone to leave. Those who refused were issued $500 tickets for sitting in their cars in the church parking lot with the windows rolled up.

According to Mayor Simmons, this surreal extreme of tyranny is necessary to “save lives.”

“There’s 25 cars 200 yards away all in the same place at the Sonic Drive-In,” Gordon said. “What we’re doing endangers nobody.”

Church services must threaten someone, or they wouldn’t be forbidden. However, that threat might not have anything to do with the Chinese virus, aside from the excuse the virus has provided to let authoritarian impulses run wild.

Or maybe it’s just about money. Easter services are still planned. At $500 per ticket, the parking lot could generate quite a pot of gold for the government of Greenville.

When fundamental rights are not defended, those in charge could have any number of reasons for infringing on them.

On a tip from Mr. Freemarket.



7 Responses to “Greenville, Mississippi Cracks Down on Drive-in Church Services”

  1. […] Greenville, Mississippi Cracks Down on Drive-in Church Services […]

  2. […] long as they cite the Wuhan virus and recite the magic words “saving lives.” If you can fine Christians for sitting in their cars in a church parking lot with their windows up, why not fine children for […]

  3. […] At least Beshear’s order doesn’t apply to drive-in services, as in Greenville, Mississippi. […]

  4. […] Wuhan-enabled tyranny is inflicted by government like the lunacy we have read about in Michigan and Mississippi. Coronavirus censorship is imposed by Big Tech social media platforms — at the behest of CNN. […]

  5. […] name of Wuhan coronavirus hysteria, authorities have been cracking down on Christian services, from Mississippi to Kentucky to California. Confirmation comes from New York that this is not due to a sudden […]

  6. […] who try to practice their religion are not even allowed to attend a church’s parking lot. Some who peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of the most extreme grievance […]

  7. […] who try to practice their religion are not even allowed to attend a church’s parking lot. Some who peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of the most extreme grievance […]


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