At my last church I was working late one evening while preparing for a youth ministry trip. The only other staff member in the office suites of our building was our gentle and kind administrative pastor, John, who was diligently working the church budget numbers on his computer.
I had gathered a few items from my storage room to pack in bins for the trip and one of those items happened to be a hand held airhorn needed for one of the games we had scheduled. I wasn’t sure it worked… and I needed to know… so on impulse, as I passed John’s office… I stuck that airhorn in his door and pushed the button. Guess what? It worked! Poor John leaped about 2 feet straight up in his chair while his eyes grew to the size of tennis balls. The poor guy couldn’t even speak… he was so startled he just kept gasping. I felt kind of bad for doing that… kinda.
Most of us would admit that we don’t like be startled. Who enjoys that moment of stunned shock when something surprising and unexpected occurs? I was startled last week. It was when I read Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch’s dissent from the Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley Church VS. the Governor of Nevada decision. Calvary Chapel sued the State of Nevada because Governor Sisolak banned religious gatherings of over 50 people — even as he lets casinos operate at 50% capacity.
This case is a no-brainer, right? The US Constitution says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the exercise thereof.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that, does it? It took me about a day to realize that Gorsuch’s dissent was written because the Supreme Court had already voted 5-4 to UPHOLD Governor Sisolak’s mandate.
Justice Gorsuch writes, “This is a simple case, under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen ‘multiplex’ may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers—no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all.”
“In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”
But… now… apparently it does. I am rarely an alarmist but make no mistake folks… this is a direct attack on Christianity from our government. An elected governor and 5 appointed Supreme Court Justices (one of whom is in serious medical institutional care, yet still cast a vote), have directly ignored the United States Constitution. This is not about interpretation. We are not talking about a current event that our founding fathers did not anticipate, like abortion… this is an attack on a clear and concise statement written over 200 years ago. Last week was the first major victory of the liberal agenda to eradicate religious influences in our country.
Folks, now more than ever, Christians must stand up for what they believe. Please, begin now to carefully study who will receive your votes this November. Pray for our nation like you never have before! Dear Lord Jesus, Forgive our country for turning our back on You. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV