California Bans Singing and Chanting In Churches — Now, Churches Are Suing

An interior shot of a North Carolina church. Photo Credit: Debby Hudson

Three California churches have filed a lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom over his state’s prohibiting singing in places of worship.

On Monday, Governor Newsom responded to an uptick in his state’s total COVID-19 cases by reimplementing an array of lockdown measures and mandatory closures. Though not quite as stringent as the lockdown rules instituted during the novel coronavirus’s domestic onset – the governor likened his approach to “a dimmer switch, not an on and off switch” – the corresponding order called for the statewide closure of movie theaters, restaurants’ dine-in areas, bars (both indoor and outdoor), and more. Additionally, this latest series of lockdown requirements stipulated that counties placed on the “County Monitoring List” for three days in a row shut down their churches, gyms, salons, and tattoo parlors, to name some.

While the case’s plaintiffs – the Calvary Chapel Ukiah, the Calvary Chapel Fort Bragg, and the River of Life Church – are able to continue operations in their respective counties, they’re required by a recent California Department of Public Health order to “discontinue indoor singing and chanting activities.” Furthermore, the plaintiffs emphasized in the complaint that their county governments are requiring local establishments and individuals to abide by all state-mandated lockdown measures (including the singing ban), with those who violate the rules facing possible fines and/or jail time.

From there, it’s alleged that the singing ban violates the plaintiffs’ First Amendment and 14th Amendment rights because it singles out places of worship. To be sure, the legal filing noted towards its beginning: “The singing and chanting ban is only applicable to places of worship.”

The next portion of the complaint presented quotes of tweets and public statements offered by Governor Newsom in support of the protests that emerged in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Predictably, the text made a point of reiterating that chanting and/or singing wasn’t prohibited at these functions, which members of the government endorsed. And in closing its arguments, the concise lawsuit stressed the role that religion (and especially singing) plays in the lives of the plaintiffs’ members: “To prohibit group singing and chanting is to effectively prohibit corporate Christian worship.”

At the time of this writing, Governor Newsom and the lawsuit’s other defendants (government health officials) hadn’t publicly commented on the matter. To date, California medical professionals have diagnosed approximately 365,000 COVID-19 cases, and nearly 7,500 residents have perished as a result of the disease’s complications.

Moments ago, Governor Newsom laid out a multitude of reopening guidelines and requirements for schools.

15 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Al Jolson

    This is a full blown attempt to annihilate all religion. Pure Marxism.

  2. Avatar
    M. Adams

    Good idea, as singing propels moisture further than simple talking. This move helps to preserve the opportunity for religious services to continue while keeping parishioners safe and healthy. It’s an effort to keep churches open and funded, and believers engaged.

    • Avatar
      Dr. Faucibreath

      No, it is an attempt to wipe out religion…period. It is what Marxists do.

      Sweden NEVER locked down, and it has the lowest death rate. This is nothing more than democrats using the power of government to reign tyranny over those who do not share their political beliefs.

      Fuck your mask, fuck your leftist tyranny. See you on the battlefield.

      • Avatar
        M. Adams

        Lots of jumping to conclusions with you. But that’s usual. Extreme statements with no basis in reality.

        1. No, it isn’t an attempt to wipe out religion. Stop being so overly dramatic. History shows that religion doesn’t get wiped out. Religion survives. Marxists? Sure, you love to bring that up no matter what name you comment under. By doing so, you actually show your unhinged bias and lack of real foundation (buzz words and go-to safe topics).

        2. Sweden has been having a tough time of it more recently because of their decision to not lock down. Number are all relative, but actually come into focus better when looking at them in relation to population. Sweden’s per capita death rate was 35 per 100,000. Meanwhile, Denmark’s death rate was 9.3 per 100,000, Finland’s 5.2 and Norway’s 4.7. All three neighboring countries enacted stricter policies. You probably won’t understand this as you are very limited.

        3. Democrats, democrats, democrats. It’s always a political comparison for you. It’s always about blame for you. Reality is that states with Democratic leadership are those that have larger populations and a bigger economy (generally providing tax revenue that gets distributed by the Fed to assist other states generally run by Republicans) that need assistance because they aren’t pulling their own weight. Blue states are also those with better education and overall public health.

        4. Masks work to help slow the spread of virus. It’s medicine. It’s science. What it isn’t is tyranny. Again, you try to pit blue against red, red against blue. The issue of a pandemic isn’t political. It is about the well-being of the entire country – it’s people, it’s economy and it’s future.

        5. Fuck you. You comment recklessly on a daily basis. You do it anonymously from the comfort of whatever hovel you live in. It’s so easy for you because nobody knows you as you hide like a scared little person. You are the problem that this country is facing, and you, and people like you will see your day soon.

        • Avatar
          Dr. Faucibreath

          Masks do nothing, and this entire scamdemic is a hoax by leftist politicians.

          • Avatar
            M. Adams

            You’re wrong and the stats show that you’re wrong. Fuck you.

  3. Avatar
    Al Jolson

    Democrats have weaponized health departments to force the phony coronavirus scamdemic down our throats. All to destroy the economy and President Trump.

    Churchill fought Germans. Trump is fighting evil inside our borders…democrats.

      • Avatar
        Al Jolson

        You have a stellar vocabulary, bubba! And, your use of commas is graceful. Of course, you have no argument whatsoever.

        Resist masks. Resist Black Live Marxists. Throw a liberal off a bridge and smile.

        • Avatar
          M. Adams

          Same ignorant shit from you, different day. Fuck you. Go back under your bridge, troll.

          • Avatar
            Al Jolson

            You are an angry type, eh? Now, off to your “protest” where you burn, loot, and assault people. Hurry. I would suggest you avoid my neighborhood, bubba.

          • Avatar
            omg

            don’t waste your time with this ignorant… he’s gonna most likely part of the the stats .. ignorance kills.

          • Avatar
            ben

            sorry M Adams, I don’t know why my comment went under Ad Jolson’s comment.. this guy seem to be just a troll.. I do agree with your 5 points ands arguments.

            Don’t waste your time with this ignorant… he’s gonna most likely part of the the stats .. ignorance kills. its not only an idiom anymore.