Trump Wants To Force States To Reopen Churches, Put Lives At Risk For Selfish Jerks
Since the pandemic began, we've been dealing with the problem of people wanting to go to church despite church being pretty much one of the least safe places anyone can be during a pandemic. Many of these people are now dead.
Yesterday, during a press conference, Donald Trump announced that states must allow churches to open this weekend — and that if they don't, he will "override" them and force them to anyway. Because he's such a big fan of state's rights and all.
He started out with the whole spiel about liquor stores and abortion clinics remaining open while churches are closed, as if we are all deciding what is and is not safe based on moral judgments.
TRUMP: "Some governors have deemed liquor stores & abortion clinics essential, but have left out churches ... it's… https://t.co/eZXE7TEo86— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1590169951.0
Liquor stores are as safe as grocery stores (especially the ones that have curbside pickup. Abortions are a time-sensitive procedure. That's why liquor stores and clinics get to stay open.
Aside from the fact that these things are just literally safer than church — which has no known anti-viral properties — allowing them to continue keeps people out of hospitals and emergency rooms, which we need right now, because pandemic. We don't have spare beds for people with the DTs or sepsis from a coathanger abortion. We just don't.
Trump continued, angrily explaining his determination to open these "essential places of faith" whether they want to or not.
Trump angrily reads his statement about reopening places of worship and then leaves without answering questions https://t.co/HiZH7AyJhO— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1590170031.0
Does Trump have the authority to do this? He does not. He is, however very likely unaware that he does not have this authority. He thinks he's king.
When White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked what actual law gives him the authority to do that, she merely said, "the president will strongly encourage every governor to allow churches to reopen" — and then accused reporters of hating religious people and wanting them to be sad.
"Kayleigh, I object to that." Reporters push back on White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany after she attemp… https://t.co/5ouHPr9yLm— The American Independent (@The American Independent)1590172514.0
Again, for the 40,000th time, this is not about protecting people who want to take risks, it's about protecting those that don't.
Personally, I am off-the-charts libertarian when it comes to what adults want to do with their own, personal bodies. I think all drugs should be legal. I believe in assisted suicide. Hell, if someone were to want to get eaten by a cannibal like that guy in Germany, and they were of sound mind? Go to town, I say. Don't care! LIVE YOUR DREAMS. Or die your dreams, I guess. Either way.
The problem here is what these people want to do to other people's bodies. The bodies of people who did not want to take that risk. They are infringing on the freedom of others to decide what risks they don't want to take.
In a perfect world, we could say If you wanna go to church? You wanna get your nails done? Fine. But you Instacart. You don't get to go to the grocery store with the rest of us. You get COVID-19? You take care of it in your own home. You don't get to go to the hospital. You absolutely do not get to take up a ventilator.
It would be great! It would also make four years of Trump a lot less likely. You know, because so many of his people would be dead.
But, tragically, we can't legislate something like that.
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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. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse