MENDOCINO Co., 5/24/20 — The Congressional Freethought Caucus, of which the North Coast’s Representative Jared Huffman is chair, issued a statement yesterday saying that the “denounce” recent statements by President Donald Trump that he will “override” governors to force the reopening of churches.
Many have pointed out that the president likely does not have such powers under our system of federalism, specifically citing the 10th Amendment; and the president’s own justice department appears not to be taking any actions. This statement statement on the part of the secularist caucus further rebukes the president further on grounds of separation of church and state.
Huffman describes himself as a humanist, and in 2018 helped start the FreeThought Caucus. On Friday the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of Governor Newsom’s health orders which ban crowds including in churches and theaters.
Here is the statement:
Congressional Freethought Caucus Leaders Denounce Trump’s Declaration That He Has the Power to Reopen Churches
Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Jared Huffman (CA-02) and Jamie Raskin (MD-08), founders of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s declaration that he intends to order Governors to exempt houses of religious worship from state public health orders, threatening to “override” state leaders if they refuse to follow his orders.
“In a single statement of breathtaking arrogance and ignorance, President Trump threatens to trample the sovereign powers of the states under American federalism, the prerogatives of Congress under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the rights of the people under the First Amendment and the Tenth Amendment. In his dangerous rush to wipe out stay-at-home public health orders and social distancing measures, President Trump has turned himself into a wrecking ball of the U.S. Constitution.
“Nothing in the Constitution gives the President the power to override state public health decisions adopted by legislatures or governors under state laws adopted under the states’ Tenth Amendment powers. Nothing in the Constitution gives the President the power to commandeer the machinery of state government for his own ideological or political purposes; indeed the Constitution forbids it. Nothing in the Constitution gives the President the power to usurp Congressional authority to enforce the people’s rights of Equal Protection, religious free exercise, or freedom of assembly. Congress can certainly take action under Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to protect religious freedom against state governments, as the Supreme Court found in City of Boerne v. Flores (1997), but Congressional action must be ‘proportional’ and ‘congruent’ to a real threat to religious freedom, which is why the Court in that case struck down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as applied against state governments.
“Congress has not acted to ‘reopen the churches’ over state public health policies and orders, and it has not done so for good reason. All of these public health policies and orders are perfectly lawful, respectful of religious freedom and enhancing of the general welfare. If it is unsafe for states to permit in-person indoor assemblies of more than ten people for the purposes of a social gathering, a wedding, a funeral for a COVID-19 patient, a campaign rally for Joe Biden, or a political demonstration against the idiocy of the Trump administration, then it is equally unsafe for them to permit in-door assemblies of more than 10 people for the purposes of religious worship. We have seen numerous cases where people, including ministers, have contracted this dread disease at religious events. People certainly have a right to believe in religious miracles and to engage in magical thinking, as the president does, but the states have no obligation or power to operate on that basis.
“The Constitution commands religious neutrality, which is why police forces and fire departments will rush to the aid of churches if they are victims of burglary or arson in the exact same way they will rush to the rescue of department stores, schools and private homes. By the same token, the Supreme Court has found, religions are legitimately governed by neutral, universally applicable laws, like laws against child labor, illegal drug possession, child sex abuse, and so on. A private church has no more right to endanger the health of its members or the rest of the public than does a private school or a political party, even though the existence of all these groups is protected by the Constitution. The key Justice insisting that churches have the right to official government neutrality and nothing more was Antonin Scalia.
“Opening up any corporate assemblies, including churches, against the advice of public health experts and medical professionals, is a recipe for COVID-19 outbreaks that will put people’s lives at risk and worsen our public health and economic morass.
“America’s founders did not give the President the powers he is recklessly asserting. Deciding the safety of public gatherings based on the neutral criterion of numbers of people present is a policy choice for state and local public health authorities, not a pandering President who recommends the ingestion of disinfectants. The President clearly understands neither public health science nor the constitutional limits of his authority.”
On the same day as President Trump’s declaration, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a report connecting high transmission rates of coronavirus to church events. The CDC also detailed the plain fact that churchgoers are able to transmit the virus to the broader community.
Wow what an extremely bold stance to take! Defying the President and the Constitution at the same time! How about take a stand against leaving Americans citizens homeless on our streets while seeking illegal voter Block! Take the red pill, Huffman!
I disagree with Jared Huffman on probably just ABOUT EVERYTHING that Huffman stands for and is–he does not seem to look into anything to get facts or THE TRUTH. I don’t think Huffman would know THE TRUTH if it came up and hit him in the head!!! Huffman and EVERYBODY like him stands for NOTHING but evilness and POWER, and wanting to be The Big Shot!!!
The people of California need to stick up for and stand up for what is right ALL OF THE TIME. For anybody that thinks President Trump does not have the authority in a State of Emergency, THINK AGAIN!!! Also, the Constitution supersedes ANY LAW OR GUIDELINES, ETC.
I cannot believe that the Seventh-Day Adventist Church is soooo quiet right now. Is
this defending God and the Bible??? Stand up and be counted!!! Go after the EVIL Lawmakers, and “they are EVIL” If you cannot see that, get your BIBLE out and read, read, read!!!
Do research on the present governor and the past governor. That in itself should be enough for ALL Houses of Worship in California to be up in arms!!!
Huffman’s name and admitted religious ideology tells us all we need to know as to why he wants Christian churches to be kept closed.
It doesn’t matter what perverts in black dresses “rule.” The First Amendment means what it says and says what it means. So does the Second Amendment.
I don’t “believe in” humanity, so I am not a “humanist” like Huffman. I know that humans are inherently corrupt, unless they are redeemed by the One sent to do so. This is also why I do not trust corrupt, mostly “humanist” government “authorities” who have a worldview much more like that of the Soviet Union, than what we know to be the American Way. They are not to be trusted, and distrust should rise with their attempt to unilaterally control other people for their own purposes. Every dictator tells the subjects that what is being done is for the “public good.”
The virus that is most threatening America and the world right now is not SARS-CoV-2, but the virus of tyranny.
Politicians love to invoke the 10th Amendment when it suits their agenda. Where was the outrage when Obama sent FDA, USDA and CDC agents to take part in a SWAT raid on Rawsome Foods, a private food cooperative in Venice, California? That was okay with our so-called “representatives,” but a presidential mandate to restore the exercise of our God given right of peaceful assembly is not? Oh, I forgot. We have no “God given” rights, only what our humanist overlords will grant us.
The official statement issued by Huffman and Raskin reveals just how disdainful they are of the beliefs and rights of anyone who does not share their belief system, whether religious or political. They just couldn’t resist throwing a few smarmy jibes into their puerile rant—“… the idiocy [sic] of the Trump administration…” (but no such invective for Joe Biden) or “People certainly have a right to believe in religious miracles and to engage in magical thinking….” This is supposed to be an intelligent declaration by elected officials pledged to act impartially in behalf of sovereign citizens!? Can the majority of the electorate not understand how we are being jerked around by these self-serving rogues?
Marilynn, the more I research what’s going on, the more I’m convinced we’re dealing with literal devils. Not all of those signed aboard the COVID-19 hysteria, but the main drivers, “leaders” if we can call them that. The chasm between worldviews is not based on honest disagreements, but based on dissimulation and deceit on their part. Confusion is of the Devil, and those driving this hysteria and seemingly-irrational Flatten the Economy know they have the upper hand with control of the main channels of information. So much fear, uncertainty, and doubt is spread far and wide that heightens the terror most suffer from that they can’t think straight.
The majority, as always, follow the “thought leadership” of those who control information streams via the Overton Window – a spectrum of “permissible” “thought.” Rabid censorship is occurring on “social media” under the ruse of “misinformation,” even when the information presented is from degreed professionals, and can be demonstrated to be factual. Those who yearn for truth and embrace verifiable facts and philosophical consistency are always in the minority. As the Russian proverb goes, “one man with the truth outweighs the whole world.”
Bald hypocrisy is easy for those who find lying to not be a moral fault. Cognitive dissonance – doublethink – is easy for those who cannot or will not think.
This is, truly, a spiritual battle, with idealists on one side, and materialists on the other. The materialists unsurprisingly discount and denounce spirituality, since it does not fit within their own faith, e.g., belief in what they call “science.”
Ultimately, the agenda is to cause misery and even death, not prevent it, through the controlled demolition of our economy, and the fanatic control freak show of House Arrests and laughable “social distancing” measures with no actual science behind it. It seems insane, but only to those sane and sincere. Flatten the Economy is not irrational, since the purpose is something far worse than most can grasp: when people are out of work, out of food, no housing, no opportunities, they are much, much more compliant with demands from those who have the reins on the food supply and can grant or deny access to the technocracy most are dependent upon.
“That no man may buy or sell save he that had the Mark…” It’s coming, soon. It will be called an “immunity passport.” Refuse it, and you don’t work, don’t shop, don’t travel, don’t buy or sell.
JC, well, at the very least they certainly sold their souls to the devil. I’m not sure if the “immunity passport” embedded in the vaccine will carry the mark of the beast. It has to be voluntary acceptance and if they forcefully vaccinate people—and the talking heads admitted that they might have to strap people down to inject them—and if it is given to innocent children, then those people can’t be held accountable. The ID vaccine might be a first step in convincing the populace that this is a desirable way to manage society. They might have to wait until the older generation, who didn’t grow up joined at the hip to their digital devices, have died out, pesky lot that we are. (I don’t know how old you are, but I turn 76 this week and therefore am a thorn in the side of the globalists.) We can only hold fast to our faith and pray not only for our family and friends, but also for those who persecute us… as difficult as that may be to do with sincerity. I must confess I have yet to end a prayer with “… and God bless Bill Gates,” LOL!
Definitely on selling their souls to the Dark One.
The “immunity passport” I have in mind, at least the final, permanent version to replace any initial paper/electronic one, appears to be an “invisible” so-called “quantum dot” tattoo, which does double-duty as a “vaccination” since it uses sugar-based “microneedles” to penetrate the skin. I don’t think anyone will be under any illusion of what this “passport” will be, a universal identifier required to work, travel, and “buy or sell.” Children before the point of accountability will surely be not held guilty by the Almighty. But nearly everyone in our society, even the most committed anti-Christian, is aware of the “legend” of the Mark of the Beast required to “buy or sell.” Not refusing the “immunity passport” contravenes God’s warning via St. John. As to how “voluntary” it will be, I don’t think that physical force will be used, at least not until very late stages. The coercion will be to tie acceptance to access to “the System,” including employment, benefits, banking, and, of course, “buying and selling” anything. “You don’t have to take it, but…” Yeah, some “choice.”
I salute you for your fighting spirit and wisdom! I’m a Generation X-er, and have been seeking the truth all my life. And boy, have I seen plenty, personally, academically, and professionally, to show me how things really work in this world, quite different from the approved illusion generated by the media. I do look to the vast resources of knowledge & wisdom among your generation, and admire many elders who haven’t given up in the face of exponentially expanding tyranny and anti-freedom. You remember how things were and should still be.
I do keep praying for God’s Will to be done, and to have mercy for humanity going along with evil. If I had any thought that Bill Gates had not irreversibly committed himself to Satan, I’d be praying for him myself.