According to a report, protesters and churchgoers clashed Sunday after a California church held indoor services in defiance of a judge’s temporary restraining order.
Rob McCoy, the pastor of Ventura County’s Godspeak Calvary Chapel, held Sunday morning service before the judge’s order in support of state and local health warrants aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
McCoy’s decision joins other pastors in the state to challenge coronavirus warrants which, they say, unfairly target places of worship. His decision to keep the service attracted supporters and detractors.
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Others have argued that church attendance is their right to freedom of expression and worship, and nothing replaces the feeling of going to a service in person, according to the station.
“We are seeing the loss of all rights, except the right of the church, this is the foundation of this country and we are very serious about it. So yes, we will go to prison for that,” said Ginny Murry.
“Being in community with your church actually means being able to unite and feel that power and I believe there is a program out there of people trying to separate us,” added Sandra Efraimson.
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The morning report’s live streams showed a maskless McCoy standing in front of what he called “a room full of people” – with most captured on video without masks.
“I see a room full of people realizing that freedom is not man’s idea, it’s God’s idea,” McCoy said during the service. “And you will be ridiculed and vilified, but you do it for those who mock and defame you.”
McCoy told FOX 11 that the reason he hasn’t held outside services is that a staff member has sun allergies and there isn’t a large enough park nearby to accommodate all of his members.
The pastor on Friday promised to continue serving despite Ventura County Superior Court Judge Matthew Guasco issued the temporary restraining order, citing: “an immediate threat to public health and safety due to the new coronavirus. 2019 “.
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“On a scale of one to 10 of the most immediate possible irreparable damage, this is a 10,” Guasco said during a hearing. “It doesn’t get much more immediate or irreparable than the threat of many people spreading a contagious and deadly disease.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report