Kentucky state troopers, acting on orders from Democratic Governor Andy Beshear, took the license numbers of and issued tickets to about 50 worshipers who attended an in-person Easter service in Hillview.
The tickets said the state would pursue “further enforcement measures” if the parishioners did not quarantine themselves for 14 days. It remains unclear what state police will do with the license numbers that were recorded.
Beshear said on Friday, “This is the only way we can ensure that your decision doesn’t kill someone else.”
Some parishioners indicated that they would not obey the quarantine order.
Several said as they left that they had no intention of abiding by the notice on their windshields that called for a 14-day self-quarantine or face the threat of “further enforcement measures.”
Exactly what troopers will do with those license numbers or what steps Beshear will take next wasn’t immediately clear Sunday.
What is clear is that Maryville’s pastor, the Rev. Jack Roberts, has no intention of ending in-person services, despite the deadly pandemic, putting his church among a handful of others across Kentucky that have rebuffed Beshear’s wishes.
This looks like social distancing to me.
Maryville Baptist Church continues to hold in-person services despite orders to cease.
Police record license plates and put notices on all the cars.
I wonder if they will force these people into a mandatory house quarantine.
The Tyranny has begun! pic.twitter.com/gqBfLw6aqV
— Joey Saladino (@JoeySalads) April 12, 2020
Someone really, really didn’t want that church service to be held. Louisville Courier-Journal:
Rev. Jack Roberts arrived at the church Sunday morning to find several piles of nails dumped at the church entrances to the parking lot. He said he wouldn’t tell his congregation to follow or defy the orders that Beshear announced Friday in his ongoing effort to hold down the spread of COVID-19.
The virus has killed nearly 100 Kentuckians and infected more than 1,800.
“Everybody has to do what they feel comfortable with,” Roberts said. He did cover his own license plate, as did several other parishioners.
It didn’t matter. Troopers took down the VIN numbers instead.
The state police said that troopers responded to several complaints about violations, but when they checked them out, they discovered that the services were outdoors and people remained in their cars.
But Rev. Roberts decided to go forward with this 11:00 a.m. service despite an order from the county health department.
Roberts has said he is “not interested in trying to defy the government,” but believes his church has a constitutional right to continue to hold worship services inside his church.
“If you read the Constitution of the United States, if you read the constitution of the state of Kentucky, they both say that (Beshear) is infringing on the church’s rights,” Roberts said earlier this week.
The governor has entered very dangerous territory with this order. Will he force church attendees to quarantine? What if Roberts and others want to hold services next Sunday?
If you play with fire, you will inevitably burn your hands.