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Tags: kelly shackelford | religious liberty

Kelly Shackelford: Religious Liberty Helping US Reopen

kelly shackelford is shown
President, CEO and Chief Counsel for First Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford (Mary Altaffer/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 May 2020 10:39 AM EDT

President, CEO and Chief Counsel for First Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford is praising faith leaders’ response to the temporary limitations the coronavirus has placed on them. 

Shackelford penned an opinion piece in Newsweek Wednesday lauding religious leaders for their commitment to serve during lockdowns by hosting drive-in or online services and providing comfort to congregants during the pandemic.

He said most public officials have balanced protecting public health while respecting constitutionally protected freedoms. He called out the ones who, he says, have set the First Amendment aside, referencing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. 

He slammed Fischer’s ban on church service gatherings just before Easter. 

“For those who would dare gather for a drive-in service on Easter — perhaps the holiest of days on the Christian calendar — Mayor Fischer vowed to send the police and force into a 14-day quarantine anyone who would gather in their sealed vehicles to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Shackelford said. “Meanwhile, citizens of Louisville frequenting a local drive-in restaurant received no threat from Mayor Fischer.”

He praised Judge Justin Walker’s decision to grant a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the mayor's order. 

“The obvious discrimination toward people of faith was not lost on Judge Justin Walker,” he wrote. “Judge Walker's ruling has proven to be the legal ‘shot heard around the world,’ the first opinion during a pandemic clearly and rationally making the case that religious liberty is not suspended during a time of crisis.”

He said the ruling enforces the rights promised to Americans by the Constitution. 

“Judge Walker's powerful opinion not only protected drive-in churchgoers—it reminded the nation that the Constitution remains healthy, dutifully protecting individual liberty by securing limited government,” he wrote. “Clearly, the battle is not over. As we are coming out of the pandemic, we cannot let the ‘new normal’ be one where our liberties are restricted.”

He said any attempts made by officials to grab power must be thwarted. 

“Freedom, religious freedom in particular, realigns the boundaries that ensure self-government and lead to human flourishing,” he said. 

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President, CEO and Chief Counsel for First Liberty Institute Kelly Shackelford is praising faith leaders’ response to the temporary limitations the coronavirus has placed on them.
kelly shackelford, religious liberty
346
2020-39-13
Wednesday, 13 May 2020 10:39 AM
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