Update: While churches are still not considered essential, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, a Democrat, who previously had ordered pastors to turn over the names, address and phone numbers of anyone who enters church houses has just rescinded this order. With the outcry of many, and the involvement of Liberty Counsel, Lucas backtracked.
“Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined Nazi-like measures designed to surveil, track and spy upon what was once a FREE American people,” Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver said.
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The city’s order stated: “Religious gatherings, including but not limited to, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and wakes, of ten persons inside or ten percent of building occupancy (whichever number is greater) and fifty people outside may resume, provided social distancing is maintained and event organizers maintain a record of attendees.”
“Data obtained by the Department of Public Health, pursuant to this provision, shall, to the extent allowed by law, remain confidential in accordance with professional pubic health standards and may be used only to address public health concerns,” the order further reads.
Rich Bott, president of Kansas City-based Bott Radio Network, told Metro Voice News the mayor’s order was a violation of longstanding guarantees in the Bill of Rights that protect religious activity from government oversight and control.
“This is outrageous on the part of the KC municipal government officials. They are treating churches the same as businesses for COVID contact tracing purposes,” Bott said. “This is a massive overreach violating the sanctity of churches and the privacy of their attendees.”
COVID has caused concerning overreach by local and state officials in many communities. As AG Barr has stated, the Constitution is not suspended in the time of a crisis.