On Friday, May 22, President Trump announced that places of worship are essential. Essential is a word that has been thrown around a lot lately, as an excuse to close businesses and hurt our economy in the midst of this pandemic. Churches and other houses of worship were deemed non-essential in this crisis, while abortion clinics and marijuana dispensaries were deemed essential healthcare. If this isn’t the perfect example of the secular left, then I donÂ’t know what is. Many Americans believe that worship is essential. Religion is a place where we can go for peace in time of trial and uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the most uncertain and frightening time for Americans in recent history and the government has decided that we donÂ’t need our places of worship, comfort and solace.
Â Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, has said in a recent social media post that we have been given rights by our Creator. Kirk, a vocal Christian, has noted the financial loss that some of these churches are facing after being deemed non-essential. He even noted that Catholic Schools across the country are suffering and he is advocating for their reopening. A Christian man, advocating for the reopening of not only his places of worship, but also for those who are not of his belief. He understands and is strongly advocating that God has given us the right to assembly. The fact that we are not allowed this right to assembly and worship is immoral and wrong. Kirk was also the one who pointed out that marijuana dispensaries are still open during this pandemic.
Citizens are able to go to dispensaries, grocery stores, car dealerships etc. where social distancing is hardly enforced. But on Easter Sunday, one of the most sacred days in Christian faiths, they were not allowed to worship and come together in faith. They were quarantined in their homes. And while worship is not to be contained only to the four walls of a chapel, it is a place of comfort. A place to be taught and to exercise our rights.
Government officials deeming places of worship as non-essential is blurring the lines between the separation of church and state. I understand the necessity for social distancing and the need for trying to keep people safe and healthy. However, this should be up to those that run the church and those who attend those services, if they would like to attend or not. Trump has been very vocal about his Christian beliefs and how he supports all religions in their right to worship. He has met with several Church leaders worldwide. During this pandemic he has even issued a National Day of Prayer, for all beliefs and religions to worship, as they choose, and pray for the wellbeing of our people. Many saw this as a great thing, combining all faiths toward a cause we can all get behind.
President Trump has now taken another reat step in telling GovernerÂ’s to reopen places of worshipÂ… RIGHT NOW. He is very enthusiastic about this. RIGHT NOW, he says more than once. Followed by a warning, that if the state Governors do not deem places of worship essential, that he will override them and open churches for all US citizens. He knows that worship leaders of all kinds care about their people. They will take the precautions necessary and they will do what they can to keep everyone safe.
Even if you are not religious, you can understand how important worship and faith are to those around you. The governments intervention and decision that church was non-essential, was short sighted and immoral. There is so much uncertainty right now that people need ways to cope. For some people that is connecting with family, working out, being in natureÂ…. And for many, it is worship. Worship runs deep in some families and cultures and this temporary shut down has affected them deeply. LetÂ’s follow our PresidentÂ’s example and demand that worship is indeed, essential.
Student and TPUSA President and activist.
Freedom isnâ€™t free.