Los Angeles Pastor John MacArthur filed a lawsuit Wednesday against California over Gov. Gavin Newsom’s second coronavirus lockdown order, including banning singing in houses of worship.
“We feel like we are the most essential reality in the world, Look, Jesus is Lord. He is the head of our church. Govenor Newsom is not the head of the church. Mayor Garcetti is not the head of the church.”
At the end of July, the County of Los Angeles sent a demand letter to MacArthur, in which attorney Jason Tokoro called for the church to “immediately cease holding indoor worship services” or face “criminal and civil liability.”
Thomas More Society special counsel Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri, representing the pastor and the church, called the restrictions “onerous” in the complaint and called on the state to recognize that Christians are not second-class citizens.
“After Grace Community Church voluntarily complied with state orders for nearly six months, California’s edicts demanding an indefinite shut down have gone now far past rational or reasonable and are firmly in the territory of tyranny and discrimination. This isn’t about health,” Ellis said. “It’s about blatantly targeting churches.”
The lawsuit claims the state is acting unconstitutionally and inconsistently.
“When many went to the streets to engage in ‘political protests’ against ‘racism’ and ‘police brutality,’ these protesters refused to comply with the pandemic restrictions. Instead of enforcing the public health orders, public officials were all too eager to grant a de facto exception for these favored protesters,” the suit reads in part.
“We are simply continuing to do today what we have done for the past 63 years that Grace Community Church has been open to welcome the Los Angeles community and serve their spiritual needs,” MacArthur said in a statement. “We will remain open and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all who decide they want to come worship with us.”