AMERICA—The Governor of Minnesota is facing legal challenges due to the executive orders he has used to specifically require social distancing and wearing of masks, especially from churches that want to go back to worshiping.
Cornerstone Church of Alexandria Pastor Darryl Knappen, Land of Promise Church Pastor Gerald Ernst, and Lifespring Church Pastors Eric Anderson, Matthew Franzese, and Jeff Backer are all the plaintiffs, who have filed lawsuits against the state for what Minnesota residents feel are being forced to laws that are too restrictive.
The specific allegations are that the Governor of Minnesota Tim Walz has “strayed far from Minnesota’s constitutional admonition that ‘the right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience shall never be infringed.'”
Any violators who don’t follow the rules are hit with a gross misdemeanor and a $3,000 fine, on top of a year in prison. Government officials can also seek up to $25,000, if they were to pursue a civil suit against specific businesses.
According to Erick G. Kaardal, an attorney for the plaintiffs, “Minnesota’s governor is wreaking havoc on the religious freedoms of the faithful. Christians of all denominations, Muslims, and Orthodox Jews are bound by their faith to worship together,” which he stated during an online press conference.
Kaardal continues, “Time-honored rites and rituals, including prayers, singing, communion, and a laying of hands in blessing, are among those elements that comprise the free exercise of religion, for which the First Amendment disallows the prohibition thereof.”
He adds that states, such as Texas, Illinois, and Ohio have been excluded from a mandate on wearing masks, which he obviously wants for Minnesota. Kaardal takes a veiled shot at Governor Walz, claiming states shouldn’t “criminalize religious attendance at houses of worship for any reason.”
Jeff Backer, who’s a state representative in Minnesota claims, “People are being prosecuted and persecuted. They are not able to exercise their faith.”
Pastor Darryl Knappen also made it clear that they “have been practicing civil disobedience since May 3,” admitting his people have been meeting publicly.