Kentucky Church Sues Governor Over COVID19 Shutdown

P. Gardner Goldsmith | April 21, 2020
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The pushbacks against unwarranted government “pandemic shutdowns” increase, as Maryville Baptist Church and its Pastor, Dr. Jack Roberts, bring suit against Democrat Governor Andy Beshear and his tax-funded police apparatus that recently descended on the Church’s Easter Sunday service.



Working with the Florida-based Liberty Council, the pastor and his church cite Beshear for breaches of the US and Kentucky constitutions in, as the Liberty Council press release notes:

…dispatching the Kentucky State Police to Maryville Baptist Church on Easter Sunday to issue notices of criminal sanctions and mandatory quarantines, and to record license plates for follow-up enforcement. 

And, as Liberty Council also observes, Beshear’s actions against “public gatherings” appear to have been targeted arbitrarily, since, in the same area:

On that same Sunday, the parking lots of Kroger, Walmart, liquors stores and other commercial operations within minutes of the church were packed with cars. These businesses were jammed with people. Not one received a quarantine notice. Gov. Beshear targeted churchgoers parked in a church parking lot to intimidate and isolate them. 

Indeed, Beshear’s troopers, despite swearing oaths to their state constitution and that of the United States, swooped down on the parishioners in the parking lot, wrote down plate numbers, and stuck notices on every car in the church parking lot. As Liberty Council notes, very few people were inside, and those who were engaged in the vaunted “social distancing” upon which so many politicians and police infringe when they approach people with tickets or handcuffs or questions that the police demand they answer.

As Michael Tennant writes for The New American:

Maryville Baptist held an in-person Easter service (inside) its 700-seat sanctuary, which only a few people, who practiced social distancing, attended. Most congregants remained in their cars, listening to the service on outdoor loudspeakers. Nevertheless, police posted notices on every car in the parking lot, regardless of whether it was occupied, including vehicles belonging to members of the media, who are supposedly exempt from Beshear’s orders.

And, thanks to government efficiency – which seems to operate just fine when attacking fundamental rights – the attendees got something friendly in the mail a few days later.

‘You are receiving this letter because your vehicle was documented to have been parked where a mass gathering was held on Sunday, April 12, 2020 at Maryville Baptist Church.… If you and/or someone in your household attended the above gathering, following the guidance from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, you are advised to restrict movement to home while self-monitoring with public health supervision for 14 days from attending the mass gathering.’ 

Happy Easter!

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But wait, there’s more – plenty more:

The letter requires the recipients to sign a document agreeing to take their temperatures every day at the same time and report each day to the Board of County Health Department; to not attend work, school, or shopping centers, church, or any public place; to not travel outside the county; to not travel outside of Kentucky without prior approval; and to not travel by public, commercial, or emergency conveyance such as a bus, taxi, airplane, train, boat, without prior approval. 

As the lawsuit notes, the practicalities are not the primary issue. Rights are the primary issue. And Pastor Roberts and his Church are very clear about the fact that their rights have been violated.

The suit notes that not only is Beshear’s “Gathering Order” in infringement on a religious gathering, it distinguishes that specific kind of gathering from other kinds, such as shopping. As such, it becomes an unequal application of the law, which has been seen by previous courts in the US to be an infringement of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The legal action is currently in U. S. District Court in Louisville, and like many other Americans Liberty Council represents, the plaintiffs appear quite ready to take this as high in the system as is necessary to protect their rights, and to reveal the blatant aggression of Kentucky Governor Beshear and his unquestioning cadre of state police.

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