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Churches across California have been ordered to stop their holding services.
Inland Empire churches don't think it is right and are now filing a lawsuit against Gavin Newsom.
A church in Fontana delivered a fierce sermon on Easter Sunday to a group of people in his crowded pews as they defied government orders prohibiting in-person services even on this holiest of days.
Patrick Scales of the Shield of Faith Family Church broke the order and then filed a lawsuit contesting the stay-at-home order as a violation of 1st Amendment religious freedom.
“We’re not going to stay home. We went to the house of God anyway,” Scales said during his speech. “We were threatened by jail. We were threatened by a fine. I chose to come worship.”
The pews exploded with cheers. Some wore masks but many were not within six-feet of each other.
Other Inland Empire churches joined the lawsuit including one of Scales’ parishioners, Wendy Gish, and two Riverside County pastors, James Moffatt of Church Unlimited in Indio and Brenda Wood of Word of Life Ministries International Inc. in Riverside.
“It doesn’t work for the government to tell you or me that it’s good enough to load up Zoom and your high-speed internet and do your service remotely,” said the plaintiffs’ lead attorney, Harmeet Dhillon. “That’s incredibly arrogant and out of touch.”
Newsom’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
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