Coronavirus tyranny still working to destroy religious liberty

coronavirus religious liberty

After 14 months of “14 days to flatten the curve,” coronavirus tyranny and the destruction of religious liberty can no longer be written off as the fearmongering tactics of constitutional conservatives.

It’s simply a fact that socialism and tyranny have grown during the so-called coronavirus pandemic, and religious liberty has been one of the casualties in the war against life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — a war that has also resulted in POWs.

I call these POWs “Coronavirus Christians.”

These prisoners have been conditioned to accept the lie that unconstitutional government mandates and the destruction of religious liberty are simply the price we must pay for “survival.” Instead of taking a stand for religious liberty, Coronavirus Christians have turned government tyranny into a new kind of theology where refusing to wear a mask and/or not being vaccinated for COVID proves that you’re not a Christian, and you’re not pro-life.

Some POWs have twisted their theology to such a degree that they defend COVID vaccines, masks, and government mandates on eschatological grounds, accusing those concerned about the abuse of government power of being peddlers of end-times conspiracy theories.

The reality of this war on the First Amendment, specifically Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, are indeed under assault. In a live-streamed keynote address to the 2020 Lawyers’ Convention sponsored by the Federalist Society, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito noted how coronavirus tyranny has “resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.”

On the subject of religious liberty, Alito pointed out how coronavirus tyranny has “blatantly discriminated against houses of worship” and has put religious liberty “in danger of becoming a second class right.”

“It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.

“Whatever one may think about the COVID restrictions, we surely don’t want them to become a recurring feature after the pandemic has passed.”

In hindsight, these warnings have become prophetic in their accuracy.

In an article I wrote earlier this month, I provided examples of how the state — sometimes with help from the POWs — has been taking their war directly to houses of worship to engage in a little hand-to-hand combat.

One of those battles occurred during Holy Week within the boundary of our neighbor to the north — coronavirus tyranny and the war on religious liberty isn’t just an American phenomenon — but Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski, who had already been fined for feeding the homeless in violation of social distancing rules, took a stand for liberty and the gospel when he demanded that Canadian police officers leave his church when they tried to disrupt a service.

This past weekend, coronavirus tyranny took another swing at destroying religious liberty for Pastor Pawlowski and his flock when Calgary police arrived with more cops and more guns to support a health inspector’s attempt to enter the church during services.

“And they did it again! Today, the Gestapo Attacked our Church Again,” Pawlowski wrote on Twitter about the latest attack by Canadian authorities. “History is being repeated in front of our eyes! Another sad day for Freedom and democracy!”

Pawlowski shared a video of the tense confrontation with law enforcement in Canada where he stood his ground once again. The public health inspector hands Pawlowski a court order that she claims grants them access into the church, but he immediately responds, “I’m not really interested in what you have to say.”

For those of you ready to dismiss the incident in Calgary because it isn’t in America, I must remind you that similar attacks have happened in America.

For example, California Governor Gavin Newsome, who is facing a recall for his coronavirus tyranny, issued a blanket shutdown of indoor church services in the summer of 2020 and used armed police to enforce it. His orders have since been overturned by the Supreme Court, but according to Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito, religious liberty wasn’t fully protected by the ruling.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened to permanently close churches and synagogues last year for not complying with his order to stop gathering during the coronavirus outbreak. “If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” de Blasio said at a press conference at the time.

Back to Canada for a moment. After going to jail for disobeying a January 19 order to shutdown, James Coates — he was released last month — resumed holding services at GraceLife Church. In response, officials shut down the church by erecting a chain-link metal fence around the building.

“This is what happens when you have freedom of religion in a free and democratic society: they jail your pastor for freely opening the doors of the church and serving Christ’s sheep and hurting people. Now they’ve chained the doors of GraceLife Church enclosing in chain link fence,” an Instagram post from Erin Coates, the wife of pastor James Coates, reads.

These police state tactics as a result of coronavirus were foretold over a year ago in an excellent article I’ve by John Whitehead (the founder and president of the Rutherford Institute). He said, in part:

“This coronavirus epidemic … threatens to bring the American Police State out into the open on a scale we’ve not seen before.

“If and when a nationwide lockdown finally hits — if and when we are forced to shelter in place — if and when militarized police are patrolling the streets — if and when security checkpoints have been established — if and when the media’s ability to broadcast the news has been curtailed by government censors — if and when public systems of communication (phone lines, internet, text messaging, etc.) have been restricted — if and when those FEMA camps the government has been surreptitiously building finally get used as quarantine detention centers for American citizens — if and when military “snatch and grab” teams are deployed on local, state, and federal levels as part of the activated Continuity of Government plans to isolate anyone suspected of being infected with COVID-19 — and if and when martial law is enacted with little real outcry or resistance from the public — then we will truly understand the extent to which the government has fully succeeded in recalibrating our general distaste for anything that smacks too overtly of tyranny.

“This is how it begins.” (emphasis mine)

This is what life looks like when coronavirus tyranny is working to destroy religious liberty.


David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.

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