Does God Need a Church?

In my part of the world, “churches” (read: pastors) are clamoring for the right to open their doors as CV-19 (supposedly) winds down. They are complaining that their congregations need a place to gather and console one another, and without it they are “suffering irreparable harm.”

According to them, “The public interest is furthered by allowing people to fully exercise their right to worship and conduct their business.” (Emphasis mine)

Since our State Governor disagrees, they have filed lawsuits.

An attorney who represents two of the local churches claims the coronavirus restrictions made sense in the beginning, but continuing to extend a ban that prevents churchgoers from “assembling at their places of worship is too great an infringement on their constitutional rights.”

By the way, as a reminder, the First Amendment to the Constitution prevents the government from making laws which regulate an establishment of religion, and it may not prohibit the free exercise of religion.

From my perspective, neither of these “rights” come into play here. Especially the second one since no one is being prohibited from exercising their religion … they’re just not being allowed to do it within a designated building.

This attorney further claims the Governor’s orders imply that church services, weddings, and youth group meetings are not essential — and then he goes on to compare them with places like Costco or Home Depot (that have been allowed to stay open).

(I’m not sure I get the connection … ??)  

He goes on to say that “churches do a lot for people’s spiritual and emotional and mental health.” Hmmm. Does the “church” do this … or does their God?

Considering all this, the question that comes to my mind is … why do God-Lovers (or at least their leaders) insist they need a place to pray and worship their imaginary being? Didn’t Jesus say “I am with you always?” Or did I miss that part where he added … so long as you’re in a church building?

Of course the bottom line to all this isn’t that people need a place to worship. It’s that  Church Leaders are suffering –just like the many other “non-essential” workers– and they’re trying to use religion to get around the Governor’s restrictions.

So what else is new in the world of Christianity?

Republican Philosophy


I’m going to depart just a bit from the emphasis on COVID-19 and bring to your attention something that my favorite newsletter writer (bet you can’t guess who) included in her most recent (4/2/20) report.

Part of Ms. Richardson’s focus in this issue was the distribution of healthcare supplies during the coronavirus crisis. In previous emergencies, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has been the recipient of needed supplies and they would then distribute to the states as needed. In order words, a coordinated federal system was in place.

In the current situation, however, supplies are going straight to the private sector, which results in states being forced into a bidding war to obtain the equipment they need. We’re now talking about a commercial supply chain, which means prices will invariably increase according to demand.

This resulted in Ms. Richardson’s observation:

[T]he White House is turning to private interests to manage the national response. It is a philosophical position embraced by those who would overturn the active government that has presided over the United States since the New Deal.

As she points out, this action (and others) demonstrates the Trump administration’s “desire to dismantle the federal government and give power to businesspeople.” In other words, the federal government should no longer assume responsibility for American citizens. Instead, Governors are to assume the responsibility of running their own states.

This Trump-preferred perspective has been especially clear during the current pandemic in that the Governors have been delegated to making their own calls related to stay-at-home orders for their state, as well as other decisions related to the safety of their constituents.

From my limited knowledge of “politics,” this seems to be the core of the Republican philosophy: a limited federal government with more power given to the states to be self determining. The general belief is that states are in a better position to be responsive to the needs of their people rather than the federal government.

Of course, the big problem in the current state of affairs is the above philosophy is NOT the one in practice — so the Trump administration actions have put the entire nation at risk.

However, going beyond the crisis, I’m interested in feedback on the philosophy supported by the Republican Party. In its perfect form (not as currently being practiced), what are the advantages and disadvantages? Further, what role would the government actually play in this scenario?

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay