Capitol Hill Baptist Church sues D.C. on COVID order

CHBC sued, "contending the district’s restrictions in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic violate the congregation’s First Amendment rights and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The 26-page complaint says Bowser’s order has been applied in a discriminatory manner, permitting gatherings of thousands for other events this summer while severely limiting the meetings of churches and other religious bodies." - BPNews

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Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Since mid-June, CHBC has held corporate worship outdoors on Sunday evenings at the property of a Southern Baptist church in Alexandria, Va., where requirements are less restrictive. The church desires to meet outdoors in D.C., where more than 60 percent of its 850 members live.

So CHBC went with "comply and (eventually) resist" vs. GCC's "defy and resist" response. This far better honors Romans 13, and 1 Peter 2 as well as Acts and the Gospels.

I can't comment on the merits of the case, though. I don't really know what's been going on in D.C. as far as fair/constitutional application of the rules to different kinds of venues.

But it's fall and soon meeting out doors is going to get a whole lot harder in D.C.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

I don't want to do it every weekend, especially given that I'm a Minnesotan, but I remember that in the old Soviet Union, believers would meet outside.  Maybe we would gain some creativity if we did so periodically.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

T Howard wrote:

We'll see how serious Christians are about worship.

Or you can tell the Governor to stuff it and meet inside. He does not have the authority to tell you that your church cannot meet inside using reasonable accomodations for COVID (distancing, masks, etc).

T Howard's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Or you can tell the Governor to stuff it and meet inside. He does not have the authority to tell you that your church cannot meet inside using reasonable accomodations for COVID (distancing, masks, etc).

Assuming they lose their lawsuit, DC will just start fining CHBC everytime they meet. So, when the fines add up, the church will need to decide how much of God's money they want to give to the government in order to meet 3x per week.

Mark_Smith's picture

T Howard wrote:

 

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Or you can tell the Governor to stuff it and meet inside. He does not have the authority to tell you that your church cannot meet inside using reasonable accomodations for COVID (distancing, masks, etc).

 

 

Assuming they lose their lawsuit, DC will just start fining CHBC everytime they meet. So, when the fines add up, the church will need to decide how much of God's money they want to give to the government in order to meet 3x per week.

Or.. you appeal.

Or rename your church BLM Baptist Church then you can do whatever you want.

Bert Perry's picture

I have to wonder whether other entities are held to the same standards.   Are restaurants that would seat several hundred limited to 100 people there including workers?  There are a number of them in DC, I'm told.

There is also a body of 435 people plus aides that should be held to the regulation--and don't let them change the quorum requirements for conducting business!

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Don Johnson's picture

But the article says Capitol Hill Baptist has NOT been meeting since the shut-down began, not even by Zoom or any other "virtual" means.

 

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

John E.'s picture

CHBC has been meeting in a field next to Del Ray Baptist Church across the river in VA.

John E.'s picture

If I know CHBC, as long as they have a place outside to meet, they will continue to do so during winter if that's what it takes. While the DMV gets really cold for me (a Floridian), the Yankees who live there are unimpressed by the winters - and they never tired of reminding me of that (in turn, I would mock every time the schools in the area cancelled recess or outdoor p.e. due to "extreme heat").  

Barry L.'s picture

The folks at CHBC are used to sitting through a two hour service every Sunday.  They are tougher than we are.