The Church in New York has been fined $ 1,000 for transit companies
Central Bible Baptist Church / Facebook
The Central Bible Baptist Church in New York was fined if it continued its services. Pastor Samson Ryman held a drive-in service with a total of 23 believers in 18 vehicles on May 3, but was contacted shortly by the police on May 4.
The Massena Police Department warned Pastor Ryman that his church was violating the law and that a fine of up to $ 1,000 would be imposed. Although Pastor Ryman was warned against holding an open air service, he was not specifically prohibited from performing the drive-in services.
In response to the threat, the Rutherford Institute wrote on behalf of the Church to Adam J. Love, Chief of Police:
"Although we appreciate your care in combating the spread of this virus, you are wrong in your claim that church-based" drive-in "services are prohibited under New York's current emergency regulations and could result in fines, although federal and state governments do this The current situation in the area of public health has not led to the abolition of fundamental constitutional rights such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the right to assemble, as specific restrictive measures have been taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
"The Church, its leaders, and members are wrongly exposed to threats of misunderstanding of the law and misapplication of the governor's executive orders, which severely impairs their exercise of the fundamental right to exercise their religion.
"Hoping to avoid formal legal action, I would strongly advise you to withdraw your threat to enforce the restrictions on executive orders for meetings in the drive-in services of the Central Bible Baptist Church and to enable them to proceed as planned .
"Despite your assertion to the contrary, the drive-in services sought by the Central Bible Baptist Church are not prohibited by Governor Cuomo's COVID 19 executive ordinances that restrict meetings. Even if the governor's executive ordinances could be interpreted to apply . " Church meetings, applying the limitation of the meetings to the church's drive-in services would violate the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion. In fact, a federal court in Kentucky recently rejected an attempt to apply a drive-in service to the COVID-19 assembly. "
The letter also states that Pastor Ryman formulated a car service plan at the Central Bible Baptist Church after the Massena police warned him that he would not be performing outdoor services under the current COVID-19 restrictions can.
"According to the drive-in service schedule, attendees drove to the Central Bible Baptist Church and parked in the parking lot on the east side of the church, always in their vehicles and with the windows open. Pastor Ryman would then have one of the services Perform a porch connected to the church and adjacent to the parking lot using a low-power FM transmitter that attendees could tune in. At any time during the service, Pastor Ryman stayed well over six feet from the others Church participants. "