Democratic New Mexico governor fines churches $10,000 apiece after Christmas Eve service videos go viral

New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham fined two churches $10,000 apiece for violating the state’s social distancing requirements, and her communications director released a statement accompanying the fine implying that the pastors involved were “pro-virus,” according to a report from Daily Wire.

The churches, Legacy Church and Cavalry Church, are described as “megachurches” by local ABC affiliated KOAT-TV. Both attracted attention after they posted videos on their respective social media sites showing hundreds of parishioners gathered singing Christmas carols during Christmas Eve services.

Those videos garnered significant attention on social media and ultimately led to news stories from local media affiliates, which seems to have prompted the governor’s actions.

On December 15th, Grisham instituted restrictions that limited capacity in worship services to 25% and required masks for all attendees. It was not immediately clear exactly how many people were present in either service, but the governor’s office was apparently satisfied that both were over capacity, as both were fined $5,000 for exceeding the capacity limits.

The churches were also fined an additional $5,000 apiece for failure to ensure that parishioners wore masks.

In a statement provided to KOAT, Legacy Church was defiant about Grisham’s order: “It’s tragic that what we do for thousands of shut-ins, those in despair, and kids who go without meals gets no state notice, but fixation on one service can net us large fines.

The state should fold its losing hand against Churches as Colorado has, focus on the truly vulnerable, and recognize what the US Supreme Court has recently said about Churches because we must continue to do what we are called to.”

They also, in their statement, referred to their service as a “peaceful protest,” a likely reference to the Black Lives Matter protests that were allowed to proceed over the summer without any coronavirus enforcement actions.

Grisham’s communications director, Trepp Stelnicki, did not mince words in response, implying that the pastors responsible for the service were “pro-virus,” according to NBC News. “We all wish this pandemic were over, but it’s not, and no pro-virus pastor may deem it so.

So many New Mexicans have sacrificed — and lost — so much in this pandemic. These illegal and selfish gatherings will directly contribute to more suffering and illness in our state. These church leaders should reflect on the danger they’ve unleashed in their communities.”

Restrictions on worship services — usually instituted by Democratic mayors and governors — have been struck down on numerous occasions in court. The Supreme Court has even weighed in, calling such regulations in New Jersey, Colorado, New York, California, and other states unconstitutional even though the regulations had already been lifted by the time the cases reached the court.

As Justice Gorsuch noted in a concurring opinion to the decision striking down the New York regulations, “Government is not free to disregard the First Amendment in times of crisis. At a minimum, that Amendment prohibits government officials from treating religious exercises worse than comparable secular activities, unless they are pursuing a compelling interest and using the least restrictive means available.

See Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. Hialeah, 508 U. S. 520, 546 (1993). Yet recently, during the COVID pandemic, certain States seem to have ignored these long-settled principles.”

12 thoughts on “Democratic New Mexico governor fines churches $10,000 apiece after Christmas Eve service videos go viral

    1. Those DEMS all seem to have a love for the looters, burners, killers, rapists but can’t stand the fact that people still believe in worship…..Wonder how many rioters that DUMDEM has jailed or fined…….

    1. There is nothing as dangerous to the United States as a dimwit demented obstructionist DEMONCRAT POLITICIAN. They wrap their arms around everything evil and scorn what is good. GOD SEES! GOD KNOWS! There will be a time of final JUDGEMENT FOR ALL OF THEM.

  1. Look at what they are doing. Close churches, Communism and Christianly cannot exist. Close all restaurants. Most all restaurant owners and their employees are considered Middle Class , again communism and Middle Class cannot exist together. See what is happening to this country.

    1. Let her BURN IN HELL ! I feel no sympathy for these delusional wannabe dictators.
      You can BET this woman is attached at the hip to Satan and the Cabal. They don’t care about the people. They care about power and money. No doubt, she has been paid off by the Satanic Democrats and the Communists. They need to be taken out! There are more of us than there are of them.
      THERE IS NO PANDEMIC . THIS IS JUST A FLU!
      WHY IS THERE 99.9% FULL RECOVERY FROM COVID19. ? BECAUSE IT’S A FARCE TO CONTROL ALL POPULATION. COMMUNIST ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.

  2. Please TRUE AMERICANS, see what the rats, commies, leftys, are doing to our country! It will be even worse if the b and hoe get in! ITS all in their mantra POWER, GREED, CONTROL! With them in charge till the nwo steps in, and stomps them and they will be no better than us! China may out do them also! God Have MERCY on OUR COUNTRY!

  3. These EVIL VILE BASTARDS will not intimidate US(A) TAX PAYERS… A CIVIL WAR is IMMINENT… WE SHALL BRING THESE DARK SOUL POS INTO THE LIGHT… ONE WAY or THE OTHER…

  4. I agree Ronnie, civil war is imminent. All veterans and REAL patriots will not stand for what they re doing much longer. All they want is money, power and total control and they care not for” we the people” who pay them. God will be their final judge and they will not be able to stand before him nor will they have any answers for his questions to them. Hell, their new home.

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