Even ruby-red conservative Alabama is not immune to restrictions on rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, which according to Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), are under assault by elected officials around the country in the name of preventing the spread of coronavirus.
An order announced last month by Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) that placed such restrictions on church gatherings has been questioned by her own state’s attorney general. Brooks argues this is a trend underway around the United States and argues such orders are incidents of freedom of religion being “illegally denied.”
“Absolutely, it does,” Brooks replied. “Freedom of religion is embodied in the First Amendment, and right now in my judgment, that freedom of religion is being illegally denied by many governors and mayors around the United States. Again, it is a matter of trust. Religious leaders, by and large, are not going to want to lose their congregations to COVID-19. I believe they’re going to act responsibly now that they have the information needed with which to act responsibly. And I think we should trust them.”
Brooks added that regardless of the trust aspect of having religious leaders try to do the right thing is present or not, it did not negate the fact that religious freedoms were being violated by government.
“But regardless of if they exercise that liberty and freedom properly, under the United States Constitution, they have the absolute right to practice their religious values, and part of that practice often involves going to church services on Sundays or Wednesdays, or to the synagogue on Saturdays as the case may be, or any other day of the week or any other religion. Our government needs to respect that First Amendment freedom of religion instead of taking it from our citizens, which is what is happening now far and wide across America.”
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