Florida Pastor Arrested for Holding Church Service and Not Following COVID-19 Closure Order

A Tampa church pastor has been arrested and is facing charges after he refused to close the churches doors to members and continued to hold services. Authorities in Hillsborough County arrested Pastor Howard-Browne Monday afternoon, charging him with misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and violation of public health emergency order.

Sheriff Chad Chronister and State Attorney Andrew say The River at Tampa Bay Church held two services Sunday, violating what they say is a “safer at home” order.

“They have access to technology allowing them to livestream their services over the internet and broadcast to their 400 members from the safety of their own homes, but instead they chose to gather at church,” Chronister said during a press conference.

Apparently, the Sherriff has never read the first amendment, which specifically prohibits the government from banning churches from freely exercising their religion and prohibiting the government from banning citizens to assemble peaceably – last time we checked the founders didn’t add a provision to suspend your civil liberties during a public health crisis.

 “Not only did the church comply with the administrative order regarding six-foot distancing, it went above and beyond any other business to ensure the health and safety of the people,” insisted Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver. “Contrary to Sheriff Chronister’s allegation that Pastor Howard-Browne was ‘reckless,’” the actions of Hillsborough Country and the Hernando County Sheriff are discriminatory against religion and church gatherings.”

“I think it’s unfortunate that the pastor here is hiding behind the First Amendment,” State Attorney Warren offered. “One, it’s absolutely clear that emergency orders like this are constitutional and valid. Second of all, leaders from our faith-based community across this country have embraced the importance of social distancing.”

Crackdown on Civil Liberties and the Suspension of Constitutional Rights

As we reported earlier today, as police and government officials threaten small business owners, gun shops, and churches with arrest for violating “stay at home” and “closure” orders, they are at the same time freeing actual criminals on to our streets. In fact, the same Sherriff who arrested the pastor just released at least 164  criminals from his jails.

Never before has a so-called public health emergency caused this type of world-wide freak out and suspension of civil liberties. Here are just a few examples that we have documented:

Coronavirus Preparedness Resources:

Please read our article about Media Hysteria, Global Panic, and a Rational Look at the Actual Numbers — We still believe panic and hysteria are doing far more damage than the actual coronavirus! While the number may have went up a bit since we wrote the article, the main point still stands. There seem to be a whole lot of people pushing agendas and profiting off spreading fear and hysteria.

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