- The Washington Times - Friday, September 8, 2023

A federal court just ordered the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department in Ohio to pay $137,000 in legal fees for forcing two Christian groups to close due to COVID-tied dictates. A New York judge just ruled that city officials who were fired for refusing the COVID shots, even though they claimed religious exemptions, must be rehired — with backpay. And the list of churches winning cases against the government for unlawfully ordering them closed during COVID grows long.

America is not lost so long as religious liberties stay intact.

And 2023 is seeing a resurgence of those in America who are successfully fighting the far left intent to crumble the foundations of this country — which are, in a phrase, based on God-given individual liberties. Can’t have God-given without the God.

“NYC teachers win jobs back with backpay after refusing COVID-19 vaccine,” Fox News just reported

The story went on to report that State Supreme Court Judge Ralph Porzio “said city officials were arbitrary and capricious when they denied religious exemption claims to the vaccine mandate.”

He based that finding, in part, on the fact that students weren’t mandated to have the shots as conditions of returning to the classroom — so why were teachers?

“This Court sees no rational basis for not allowing unvaccinated classroom teachers in amongst an admitted population of primarily unvaccinated students,” the judge wrote. “As such, the decision to summarily deny the classroom teachers amongst the panel petitioners based on an undue hardship, without any further evidence of individualized analysis, is arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable. As such, each classroom teacher amongst the panel petitioners is entitled to a religious exemption from the vaccine mandate.”

Let the power of religious freedom go forth.

This is why America was populated in the first place — the quest for the right to worship God; to obey God; to follow biblical values and principles. And putting untested, potentially harmful substances into one’s own body is not only a violation of God’s laws, according to many believers. It’s also counter to the Constitution.

Medical choice is a core individual freedom.

Then there was this, just recently — another win for religious freedom in America: “A federal court ordered a local health department in Ohio to pay two Christian organizations over $137,000 in attorney fees over an order that led to the closure of faith-based schools during the COVID-19 pandemic while secular businesses remained open,” The Christian Post wrote.



“The Center for Christian Virtue and the Ohio Christian Education Network filed a lawsuit in December 2020 on behalf of its member schools, including Monclova Christian Academy and St. John’s Jesuit, one month after the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department ordered a temporary half of in-person instruction in Lucas County to slow the spread of COVID-19,” The Christian Post continued.

Yes. Because in America, it’s law and order and duly passed legislation that governs — not the dictates of single bureaucratic pinheads on control-freak missions. Such lawsuits should have been filed in every state, in every jurisdiction, in every locality where local health professionals dared to order churches and religious-based schools to close, at the same time allow Walmart, liquor and marijuana stores and other retail to remain open and operational.

Religious worship is protected by the Constitution,

Shopping for reefer is not.

Government may claim some sort of emergency health order right to shut down private businesses. But that right doesn’t extend to places of worship. Here in America, it’s God first; individual second; government much farther down the list.

The government serves the people.

The government, in America, is the servant of the people.

Hopefully, the backlash against religious freedom in America is surging — because as the COVID case counts rise, so, too, will the government’s attempts to once again shut down the economy, the school, society.

Once again, Americans will have to fight for what’s supposed to be inherent, at birth: liberty.

“Supreme Court Strengthens Religious Freedom,” Time reported in June, about a case that now forces employers to show more cause — to meet higher standards — before denying religious accommodations n the workplace.

This is the war in America that matters most: religious freedom.

If citizens aren’t free to follow God’s words, even when they conflict with government’s will, then the power structure is Government First, God Last.

America will only stay as free as its religious liberties stay strong. God-given individualism is the key to American Exceptionalism. And churches are the key to keeping God-given individualism. 

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter and podcast by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Lockdown: The Socialist Plan To Take Away Your Freedom,” is available by clicking HERE  or clicking HERE or CLICKING HERE.

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