Nicknamed “Battle Born”, we Nevadans are an independent bunch and have a history of wanting to run our own lives. We don’t want government control, nor do we need it. Nevertheless, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend recently with more and more government infringing on basic rights they have no business being involved in. The recent coronavirus pandemic is just the latest excuse the government is using to tell us how to live our lives. In 2020, we’ve seen this pandemic become the scapegoat from everything to closing churches to an attempt to shut down the National Rifle Association (NRA).
It’s just in the last few weeks that we’ve seen churches be able to reopen and yet, according to a mandate from Governor Sisolak, they are capped at 50 people. While restaurants, pools, fitness centers and cannabis dispensaries were all permitted to open at half capacity, churches are only allowed 50 people regardless of how large a facility the church has. Why? The inequal treatment of churches is frustrating at best and a clear violation of the First Amendment at worst.
A recent case in California went to the Supreme Court with the Court ruling 5-4 against the South Bay United Pentecostal Church. In his dissent, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote, “Assuming all of the same precautions are taken, why can someone safely walk down a grocery store aisle but not a pew? And why can someone safely interact with a brave deliverywoman but not with a stoic minister?” Why, indeed?
On the other side of the nation, in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo used their powerful positions to send a letter to banks and insurance companies instructing them to sever ties with the NRA or face regulatory scrutiny. When the NRA took their claims to court, U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy said, in his 71-page ruling, “The allegations of direct and implied threats to insurers and financial institutions because of these entities’ links with the NRA, and the allegations of resulting harm to the NRA’s operations, are sufficient to make out plausible First Amendment freedom-of-speech claims.”
It would seem as though those who would prefer more government control are using the coronavirus pandemic as just the excuse they needed to infringe on more freedoms. Here in Nevada, Governor Sisolak continues to be illogical, restricting free assembly in churches while praising the hundreds that showed up for protests on the Strip. Surely if we can safely stand together to protest injustice, we can safely stand together to worship.
Call to Action: This year’s election is more important than ever, in Nevada and across the nation. We must turn out by the thousands to vote and ensure that Nevada remains Battle Born and free. We must vote to control our government before it takes more control from us.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”