We've documented how CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey so embraced his bad take that stopping large crowds of worshippers to slow the spread of coronavirus was an issue of religious freedom rather that the public health issue it actually is that he turned it into his "news" operation's editorial agenda. Another ConWeb member has decided to echo that bad take.
James Hirsen wrote in his April 13 Newsmax column:
At a time when folks are struggling to come to grips with grave illnesses, economic hardships, logistic challenges, and imposed isolation, faith has become an "essential" in the battle against the "invisible enemy."
But worship communities trying to follow government regulations and guidelines have suddenly found themselves under attack in several parts of the country.
It appears as though various state and local officials, who may or may not hold a different view of religious worship than their fervent faith counterparts, are using current coronavirus-related circumstances to target people who are participating in worship in safe and responsible ways.
The free exercise of religion is an absolute fundamental right endowed by the same Creator to whom the aforementioned worship is directed.
This free exercise of religion is enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
In simple yet eloquent words, the text of the First Amendment declares , "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Recently, however, just prior to the pinnacle Christian celebration of Easter, several state and local officials took some aggressive steps in which they attempted to limit — and in some cases even ban — people from engaging in worship.
Thankfully, U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been paying close attention to the issue.
He is poised to intervene.
Needless to say, Hirsen is making things up when he accuses state and local officials of having hostility toward religion -- he offers no evidence to back that up. Further, contrary to his claim that freedom of religion is an "absolute" right, no right is absolute, even those cited in the First Amendment. Just as one's right to free speech does not extend to libel or falsely shoting "fire" in a crowded theater, one's freedom of religion does not supercede public health or safety. Hirsen claims to be a lawyer, so you'd think he would know that.
And like Jeffrey did, he cites only examples of Christians whose religious freedom is purportedly being infringed upon -- which it's not; only mass gatherings are, of any kind -- which tells us he really doesn't care if non-Christians have their freedom of religion infringed upon.