Jenna Ellis, one of the lawyers representing Pastor MacArthur appeared on “The Sara Carter Podcast” Thursday after this article was published. Ellis argued that church is an essential service that the American people have the right to access in this time of need.
“Imagine if in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitals were closed and they said, ‘Well, you know what, we can’t treat people with their physical ailments.’ That’s essentially what the state of California is doing to our spiritual condition,” she told Carter. “And they’re saying we are closing houses of worship indefinitely so that they can’t provide the essential care and service to people who are out of jobs who are displaced, who are going through a lot of, you know, just regular everyday things as well, that the church provides the essential service for and so this is absolutely an infringement on our constitutionally protected right to freely associate and assemble, and also our free exercise of religion.”
She added, “This is not pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church in California, defying the Constitution. This is the state of California and its officials defying their oaths of office and their constitutional mandate to preserve and protect religious freedom for pastor MacArthur in his church.”
A well-known California pastor has hired several prominent lawyers to challenge the state of California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom and the city of Los Angeles over its draconian measures to keep his church closed as part of the state’s COVID-19 response.
Grace Community Church Pastor John MacArthur, who has been in a front line battle against Newsom, will now be represented by nationally renowned attorneys Jenna Ellis and Charles LiMandri. Ellis serves as private counsel to President Donald Trump and LiMandri is a constitutional law attorney, religious freedom expert, and Special Counsel for the Thomas Moore Society.
The announcement was made Wednesday through The Thomas More Society, which is a non-profit “national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty.”
Ellis, who also served on Trump’s legal team for the 2020 impeachment trial, has staunchly supported the churches against what she has said are unconstitutional actions by a number of Democratic governors to target religious institutions.
MacArthur has stood his ground against Newsom. He told Fox News this week that “never before has the government invaded the territory that belongs only to the Lord Jesus Christ and told us, we can’t meet. We can’t worship. We can’t sing.”
Recently, the city of Los Angeles sent a cease and desist letter threatening the pastor and the Grace Community Church of a daily fine of $1000 or arrest if it remains open. MacArthur isn’t budging.
He is one of many pastors and religious leaders across the country questioning stringent measures being implemented by some governors that are intended to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, many church leaders are rightfully fighting back by pointing out that people are congregating in many social settings, like grocery stores, and that religious needs are not only essential but a constitutional right.
“This is not the first time we as Christ’s church have stood for Truth,” said MacArthur in a press release. “We will continue to stand firm for the Truth today like we have every prior day in our 63-year history and in the over 2000-year history of the biblical, New Testament Church. We stand firm to continue fulfilling our biblical mandate from Christ to proclaim the Gospel and assemble together, and I earnestly hope that our stance will encourage other pastors, churches, and the general public across America and the world to also stand firm for biblical Truth. Church is essential.”
Ellis and LiMandri are ready to fight for MacArthur. The legal pair noted in their press release that Grace Community Church, along with its “Ellder Board, and Pastor MacArthur have been the target of unconstitutional religious discrimination by the City of Los Angeles and the State of California, amid the State’s order to cease in-person church assembly indefinitely. Grace Community Church and Pastor MacArthur, known worldwide for their ministry and seminary, have enjoyed an impeccable 63-year history of serving the Los Angeles community in person and having a reputation for good citizenship and deference to legitimate state authority.”
MacArthur has argued that California is using the “pretext of COVID-19 to attempt to force churches to close indefinitely.”
He is fighting the “illegitimate, over-broad, and unconstitutional order to indefinitely cease assembly, and exercising their religion and sincerely held religious beliefs, forced Grace Community Church to defy the order and continue exercising their rights, seeking shelter in the guaranteed religious freedom protections of the United States and California constitutions. By unanimous vote of the Elder Board, led by Pastor MacArthur, Grace Community Church issued a statement July 24, 2020 explaining their decision,” the press release states.
“Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community church are not disobeying the Constitution; it is California’s Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti that are defying their constitutional obligation to protect religious freedom and church assembly,” said Ellis.
She said that the “American system of government specifically recognizes that our individual, fundamental right to free exercise of religion and freedom of assembly is a pre-political, God-given, inalienable right.”
“That right is not given by the government or the Constitution, but rather, government is mandated by the Constitution to preserve and protect it for the church,” she said. “Grace Community Church has every right to assemble without impossible and unreasonable infringement from the state, and the state has absolutely no power to impose the restrictions it is demanding. Church is essential, and the government has no power to arbitrate whether religious organizations are essential. This is not about health and safety, it is about targeting churches.”
LiMandri notes that Newsom’s stringent regulations are not only unconstitutional but “discriminate against churches by treating them less favorably than other organizations and activities that are not protected by the First Amendment.”
“Pastor MacArthur and his church, as well as all churches, are entitled to practice their religion without government interference,” LiMandri said. “This is especially the case when the government has given free rein to protestors, and is not similarly restricting marijuana dispensaries, large retail outlets and factories, and abortion providers.”
“The government orders are also unconstitutional because there is no compelling need for the onerous restrictions on the churches at this time,” he said. “The hospitals are not overwhelmed and the percentage death rate from COVID-19 is now extremely small. It is time for Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti to recognize what President Trump has already proclaimed: Churches are providing an ‘essential’ service to the people. Therefore, they must be allowed to serve the people in the manner in which God has called them.”
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More than half of top Medical Schools now mandate Critical Race Theory
In a win for the woke warriors who care more about feelings than they do science or medical wellbeing, medical schools are being forced to mandate Critical Race Theory (CRT) training.
According to the Critical Race Training in Education database and reported by the Daily Caller:
Approximately 58 of the top 100 medical schools ranked by the U.S. News & World report include CRT in their courses and student training, according to the Critical Race Training in Education database. Of the top schools, 46 provide students and staff with resources by Robin DiAngelo, the author of “Nice Racism,” a book about how progressive white people perpetuate racial harm, and Ibram X. Kendi, the author of several books on antiracism including “Stamped.”
The Critical Race Training in Education database states, “As with our higher education database, some have embraced CRT explicitly, while others have a continuum of programming, such as ‘antiracism,’ ‘equity,’ and ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ that does not easily fit into a Yes/No construct…We provide information from which you can make the most informed decision possible.”
The Daily Caller notes that CRT holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
The antiracism push in medical education is increasing; to reach diversity, equity and inclusion goals, 35.6% of medical schools are offering incentives to departments who meet the diversity goals set by the institution. In July, the Association of American Medical Colleges released new guidelines on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives for medical schools to teach students to consider their “privilege” and patients’ “intersectionality” when providing treatment.
The Daily Caller provides a breakdown on some of the nation’s top Medical Schools:
Harvard Medical School, named the top medical school in the country by the U.S. News & World report, is developing new classes for their masters and Ph.D. programs which will help students “acknowledge the ways in which racism is embedded in science and scientific culture and work to redress these longstanding issues,” according to Harvard Medical School’s website. The school’s Global Surgery and Social Change program requires its students to “participate in and lead informed discussions about antiracism through a dedicated antiracism curriculum” in order to educate students on the “history of racism and colonialism in health.”
The University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, ranked third in the U.S. News & World report of medical schools, has racial affinity caucusing groups for students to participate in “antiracist work and process the impact of racism on ourselves and our community,” the school’s website reads. In September 2022, the school announced its “Differences Matter Initiative” to help the school “accelerate the achievement of equity and inclusion across the medical profession.”
Duke University School of Medicine, ranked sixth by the U.S. News & World report of medical schools, implemented an antiracism committee to “incorporate teaching racism and racial inequities” through “teaching, research and clinical missions,” the school website showed. The school offers resources including “an antiracist reading list from Ibram X. Kendi” to help further its goal of making the school “an educational and research leader and agent of change towards an antiracist culture.”
The department of surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, ranked 68th for medical schools in the nation, provides “ongoing faculty development sessions in topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion,” the school website stated. Students in the department of surgery will be taught to “eliminate the impact of implicit and explicit bias” within their practice.
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