Pastor Jack Trieber of North Valley Baptist Church in Santa Clara, California, is appealing to all Americans for aid in his congregation’s struggle to exercise their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.
In an impassioned Facebook video, Trieber declared “we are not closing down this church” as a result of more than $52,000 in fines levied against the congregation by Santa Clara County officials, based on Covid guidelines issued by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Trieber joins Grace Community Church of Los Angeles and Pastor John MacArthur in defying Newsom’s guidelines that bar indoor meetings in churches.
Grace, represented by the Thomas More Society, has won four court decisions but county officials’ most recent retaliation was cancellation without prior warning of a parking lot lease that had been in force without problems for 45 years.
With resistance to seemingly unreasonable Covid-related restrictions growing, especially among Christian congregations, the issue is certain to assume greater prominence on Capitol Hill when Congress returns after Labor Day: