By Paul Murano at ChurchMilitant.com • June 1, 2020
CHICAGO – “This is a total and complete victory for people of faith,” declared Thomas More Society vice president and senior counsel Peter Breen.
After a lawsuit claiming religious discrimination and the violation of the state and U.S. constitutions, the state of Illinois has backed down from its imbalanced mandates with regard to religious houses of worship. Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker reversed his bans on drive-in services and small group services of up to 10 people.
Pritzker announced in his daily press briefing on May 28 that he is withdrawing mandates on Illinois churches and replacing them with health department “guidelines” for places of worship.
“Illinois’ governor and his administration abused the COVID-19 pandemic to stomp on the religious liberty of the people of Illinois. By issuing guidelines only and not the previously announced mandatory restrictions, he has handed a complete victory to the churches in Illinois,” said Breen. The restrictions had “little regard for the rights of people of faith and [was] ignoring the current best science.”
The governor had earlier laid out Phase 3 of his plan to reopen Illinois, which was to begin May 29. Pritzker declared that, while loosening assembly limits for many small businesses and restaurants, church restrictions will remain at a 10-person limit without exception, and with no date for its rescinding.
Tweet: By issuing guidelines only and not the previously announced mandatory restrictions, he has handed a complete victory to the churches in Illinois.
Lake County churches officially complained that this continued imposition of an arbitrary 10-person limit by Pritzker is discriminatory and violates the free exercise of religion under the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act and Illinois Constitution, the constitutional right to free speech and assembly, and the constitutional right to due process and equal protection of law.
Read the full article at ChurchMilitant.com.