California pastor holds services for 1,000 people in defiance of COVID-19 court order
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Defying a California court order issued amid coronavirus concerns, the leader of Godspeak Calvary Chapel, Ventura County held indoor church services for around 1,000 people on Sunday, the Washington Examiner reports. Prior to holding the services, Pastor Rob McCoy described the county rules on indoor services as “draconian” and stated that no one in his church was infected with COVID-19.
Ventura County judge Matthew Guasco issued a two-week temporary restraining order Friday, to prevent Godspeak from continuing to hold indoor services while pandemic worries persist, the Washington Examiner reported.
Issuing the order, which cited “an immediate threat to public health and safety due to the 2019 novel coronavirus,” Guasco said: “The Constitution is not a suicide pact. The exercise of individual liberties has to be consistent with public health, otherwise, the one would cancel out the other.”
Nevertheless, McCoy stated in a video posted Saturday that services would be held at the Newbury Park church on Sunday, in violation of the judge’s order. “Now, I don’t know what that means as far as who’s gonna stop us, but we’re planning on having services at 9, 11, and 1,” McCoy said. “We’re going to keep worshiping God, if they seek to arrest me and the thousand of you, it’s almost like the first thousand get a prize: You get a citation. It’s a misdemeanor. You want to be one of the thousand? Come,” McCoy added.
With a population of 846,000, Ventura County has had 8,462 COVID-19 cases recorded and 89 deaths. On Friday, the county recorded 111 new cases.
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