Staver: Blue states tend to be more restrictive when reopening

May 4, 2020 in News by RBN Staff


Source: One News Now | Chad Groening, Steve Jordahl

The attorney general of Arizona has declared that meeting together for church is an essential activity and has dropped any social distancing requirements for worship services.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey had already carved out an exception for religious activities during his state’s pandemic restrictions, but Attorney General Mark Brnovich was asked to clarify what that meant. His opinion states that Arizonans are encouraged to practice safe distancing while at church, but he’s not requiring it.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel has been keeping track of the lay of the land regarding religious freedom during the pandemic.

Should churches require social distancing when they begin to gather again?

“This is a good opinion from the attorney general of Arizona,” the attorney tells OneNewsNow. “There’s no mandatory six-foot requirement imposed on churches or attendance at churches because they’re essential activities.”


The Liberty Counsel founder says it’s good to see a state do things right after so many draconian and unconstitutional restrictions – like the one recently tried in Knox County, Tennessee. “That particular jurisdiction wanted to say that communion was not essential to worship,” Staver explains. “[It’s] unbelievable that the government would have that kind of audacity to say so.”

Liberty Counsel got that restriction tossed.

Staver says the public is witnessing a clear difference between the burdensome restrictions imposed by Democratic leadership – either at the state or local level – as compared to Republican-led states.

“… [T]he states that are opening up their restrictions, they’re going to be Red states – and the Blue states are going to lag behind,” he contends. “It’s going to be the Blue states that are going to continue to impose these restrictions for some time.”

For example …

In fact, like other governors of Blue states, Governor Janet Mills of Maine (D) has extended her state’s stay-at-home order until May 31. When she made that announcement last week, she laid out a four-stage plan to reopen the state. The first stage, which began last Friday, still prohibits gatherings of more than ten people – but allows stay-in-your-vehicle religious services, for example.

A pro-family activist in that state says it has been an incredible challenge.

Conley, Carroll (Christian Civic League of Maine)“I’ve got friends … whose businesses probably will never reopen,” says Carroll Conley, executive director of the Christian Civic League of Maine. “So, I’m concerned about that and the pain that we [are seeing].

“Could there have been a different way to approach it, especially in a state with only 1.3 million and … had 54 deaths?” he continues. “… [S]ome studies are showing that Maine is going to be hit the hardest economically as any state in the union.”

According to Conley, his organization is prepared to take legal action if the governor’s extended stay-at-home order overburdens the church.

“I don’t believe this is the time yet for civil disobedience,” he shares. “But we certainly [are analyzing it] – and then if there is a breach of constitutionality or treating someone unfairly or overburdening the church, the next step definitely is seeking injunctive relief. If an official municipal state or federal doesn’t move on that, then I do believe we have a responsibility to take legal action.”

Conley says his organization has been in touch with Alliance Defending Freedom and First Liberty about options should the governor’s stay-at-home order become overburdensome for on religious services.