GOPers Seriously Think Churches Are Regulated Differently Than Casinos Just To Persecute Christians

Las Vegas Casino | faungg's photos | Flickr

Throughout the pandemic, right-wing Christians have been insisting that coronavirus-related regulations on churches have been based not in a desire to keep the number of people who get COVID-19 down, but rather a nefarious desire among certain politicians and judges (who are likely religious themselves given that the only "religiously unaffiliated" person in all of Congress is Kyrsten Sinema) to keep them from practicing their religion and oppress them.

Last night, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court rejected a Nevada church's request to block the state from being able to limit the number of people who can attend a church service at once. Currently, churches in the state are only allowed to have 50 people at a service — and the Dayton Valley chapel in Calgary is arguing that this is unfair in light of the fact that casinos and restaurants are able to operate at 50 percent of their capacity.

Now, the reason for this is simple. A restaurant can easily block off tables. A casino can shut off machines. They are able to physically do things to enforce social distancing. A church? Not so much! Additionally, there are dangers in churches that do not necessarily exist in restaurants or casinos — like singing. We all know by now that being anywhere near a choir is basically a one-way ticket to Coronaville.

It would be absolutely ridiculous for decisions regarding coronavirus restrictions to be based on the morality of the activities involved. That would not make sense.

But Republican officials and other right-wingers are very upset about this because it makes them feel as though casinos — which they consider immoral dens of sin — are being treated better than good, morally upstanding churches. They are especially mad at John Roberts for what they see as abandoning them.

Ted Cruz seems to think the problem is that churches don't offer up craps tables.

Should casinos be open right now? Probably not! Especially given that Nevada is on an upswing.

Perhaps they ought to look on the bright side of things — there are four whole Supreme Court justices who think it's totally cool to spread coronavirus so long as you are doing it in a church. I mean, if I were them, I would find it more insulting if politicians and judges regulated casinos and other places more harshly than churches. One could interpret that as a sign that they do not care if churchgoers live or die. That is actually how I would take it if I were them. I would be insulted!

Christians — Protestants in particular — are just as likely to be discriminated against in America as Americans are to be discriminated against for being Americans in America. Which is, you know, not at all. Especially not by any law enacted here. Most people here are Christian and practically everyone with any kind of power is also a Christian. And if not that, they are likely another religion, and therefore likely to be sensitive to the concerns of religious people. I understand that they want to feel like they're being persecuted for some reason, but that is not what is happening here. States are just trying to get through a freaking pandemic without half the country dying. That is all.

[New York Times]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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