An attorney with the right-wing legal group Liberty Counsel says its unrealistic and cruel to expect American Christians to practice social distancing as a way of helping control the spread of coronavirus and suggested that doing so is the equivalent of the persecution faced by Jews in Nazi Germany.
During an appearance on Todd Starnes’ radio show Wednesday, Mat Staver, founder and chairman of religious-right legal group Liberty Counsel, asserted that Christians are being subjected to unprecedented persecution and that social distancing is a form of discrimination. Staver began by suggesting that religious freedoms are under attack in the age of COVID-19:
“I’ve never seen anything like this ever before, anything come close to this. This is the most outrageous and, frankly, unbelievable situation I’ve ever seen with regards to the absolute disregard of the Constitution.”
Staver’s organization, according to Right Wing Watch, is currently representing Florida-based evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne, who was arrested for refusing to obey a stay-at-home order in his state:
“Staver told Starnes about people who lost their jobs or were told they were unwelcome in a drug store when people realized they attended churches that had drawn media attention for continuing to gather. ‘It is unbelievable the harassment, the targeting of these churches all over the country,’ Staver said. And he said a Virginia pastor Liberty Counsel is representing faces a year in prison for having ‘six people over the governor’s magic number of 10 in a 293-seat sanctuary.'”
And then Staver decided to pull the Nazi card, which only served to make his assertion of persecution even more absurd:
“So, it is absolutely—I mean, it’s a targeting. It is, you know, I don’t want to be too melodramatic, but I’m telling you what. You know, this happened before in history. We’ve seen people being targeted, that you are being targeted with a particular symbol that you have to wear. And then so you get targeted with your business, you get terminated from your job, and eventually you get ghettoized. And what we’re seeing here is the absolute targeting of Christians in churches to a level I’ve never even imagined would happen in America.”
He doesn’t want to be too melodramatic, and yet he reached for the most extreme historical example he could find to make a comparison.
You’d think that any self-respecting person, no matter his or her religious affiliation, would want to do whatever they could to help prevent the spread of a deadly airborne virus. So much for being “pro-life,” huh?
Featured Image Via Tribune Broadcasting