A Republican-led panel of Kansas legislative leaders on Wednesday overturned an executive order by the state’s Democrat governor that called for attendance limits on church services and funerals amid the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News reports.
GOP members of the state’s Legislative Coordinating Council, composed of House and Senate leaders, asserted that first-term Gov. Laura Kelly had overstepped her authority by issuing the order, so they blocked it in a 5-2 vote along party lines.
“It appears to be out of line, extreme and clearly in violation, a blatant violation, of our fundamental rights,” Senate president Susan Wagle, a Republican from Wichita, told the Topeka Capital-Journal.
House and Senate leaders — meeting as a body called the Legislative Coordinating Council — voted along party lines to throw out the directive. Their decision came as the number of reported COVID-19 cases in the state climbed to more than 1,000 and the death count ticked up to 38.
Church gatherings have produced three case clusters across the state and health officials fear Easter gatherings could further spread the deadly coronavirus. Pastors and priests now confront a stark choice: forgo in-person services on Christianity’s holiest day or open church buildings and potentially risk exposing parishioners, The Wichita Eagle News reports.
The hilarious part of this “battle” is that the Republicans stated that, behaviors won’t change much. Most people are aware the virus is highly contagious and want to limit its spread, “but don’t tell us we can’t practice our religious freedoms.”
What I have seen is that people are ignoring the social distancing, ignoring non-essential closings as well as ignoring the “no more than 10 people” crowds. There is no difference between choosing to gather to “party” or choosing to gather for “religion”.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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